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Islamic Center dedicates artwork
Islam mosque top
Manteca Mayor Steve DeBrum presented two proclamations to Masood Cajee during the dedication. One was from the city and the other from the office of Congressman Jeff Denham. - photo by GLEN KAHL/The Bulletin

Manteca’s original residents — the Yokuts Indians — served as an inspiration for the community’s newest mural.

The Manteca Mosaic Mural above the entrance to the Islam mosque on South Union Road drew was dedicated during ceremonies on Tuesday.

The 50-square-foot sectile mosaic installation was funded by the Creative Work Fund at the Islamic Center of Manteca.   A verse from the Qur’an calligraphed in the thuluh style by Afghan-American artist Zubair Simab was hand-cut into glazed tile by California based Greco-Roman mosaic artist Pippa Murray, set against a floral background design of almond blossoms and branches inspired by Indo-Persian decorative art.

 Yokuts and Miwok Native American basketry served as the inspiration for the perimeter diamond motif.  The collaboration molded ancient mosaic collaborations between the Byzantine Christian craftspeople and Umayyad Islamic patrons.

Completed in 2015 the Islamic Center in Manteca is the first purpose-built mosque in San Joaquin County.  The congregation is diverse represented by communities such as Afghans, Fijians, Yemenis, Palestinians as well as African Americans, Latinos, European Americans, South Asians and Arabs.