WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Islamic Center of Long Island — the oldest mosque and one of the largest on the island — has named a woman as its next president.

Isma Chaudhry is now the first-ever woman to be named president of a mosque on Long Island.

“It is very exciting. It’s an honor,” said Chaudhry.

Chaudhry, a retired doctor from Manhasset, said having the first female president of a Long Island mosque sends an important message, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.

“This is a message to dispel misconceptions about Islam,” she said.

Misconceptions, she said, that Muslim women are oppressed or that Muslims embrace terrorism, Rivera reported.

“This is not what Islam teaches. Islam — the first thing is respect for life,” Chaudhry said.

Chaudhry takes over at the mosque in Westbury on Jan. 1, 2015.

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