Many Americans believe a mosque or Islamic Center is simply a “Muslim church.” This could not be further from the truth.
In Islam, Mohammad is considered the al Insan al Kamil – the perfect example of a man. Anything he did is considered the example for all Muslims to follow for all time. Muslim men can marry girls as young as six years old because Mohammad did. Mohammad beheaded Jews at the Battle of the Trench, so this is an “excellent example” for Muslims to follow. And Mohammad built mosques.
Islam defines itself as a “complete way of life (social, cultural, political, military, religious)” governed by sharia (Islamic Law). There is no separation of politics, religion, or military operations. Mohammad was a political, religious, and military leader. The mosque was and is a place where politics, religion, community, and military affairs are all combined.
Mohammad used mosques as a place for the community to gather and learn about Islam. It was a place to store food, water, weapons, and ammunition. It was a place where jihadis lived and trained. It was also the place where battles were planned and the place from which battles were launched. So, thats what a mosque is.