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More than 7,000 Bosnian refugees, their relatives and friends — who mostly are Muslims — call the Beehive State home after seeking shelter first in Europe and then the United States.

On Saturday, Utah's Islamic Society of Bosniaks (as they call themselves) held a grand opening for its Maryam Mosque, named after the Virgin Mary, whom Muslims revere almost as much as Christians.

The free event featured tours, music and authentic Bosnian foods while providing an opportunity for neighbors and other community members to see the worship space.

"As a part of greater American society, we try to present our religion of Islam and our national Bosnian heritage the best way we can," Amir Salihovic, the mosque's imam, said in a news release.

The Muslim followers bought the former Baptist church, located at 425 N. 700 West, and remodeled into their own mosque — complete with a minaret tower, domes, an iron fence, a large covered patio and prayer rugs.

Peggy Fletcher Stack