This is happening in small towns and cities throughout the US. Sheboygan, WI has been riled for months over whether a use permit to convert a former store into a mosque should be granted by the town fathers. The local refugee population was cited by the Palestinian (from Gaza) imam as one reason they needed the religious center. Last night the mosque was approved over the objections of the majority of the citizens of Sheboygan. Hat tip: Robert
From the Sheboygan Press:
After an hour and a half of fiery discussion, including comments from two dozen speakers, and before an audience of more than 120 people, the Wilson Town Board voted unanimously Monday night to grant a conditional use permit for Sheboygan County’s first mosque.
With the approval, Mohammad Hamad, the Imam, or spiritual leader, of the local Muslim community, said the first worship service at the former Tom’s of Wisconsin health food store at 9110 Sauk Trail Road would be held Friday, the traditional day of worship for Muslims.
Hamad said he was happy the process was over.
“I believe right now we have to focus on the future and put this harsh talk behind us,” Hamad said after the meeting.
“I was a little surprised at the misunderstanding” about Islam and the local Muslim community, he said, adding but the mosque will help open a door to better understanding.”
The proposal had drawn large crowds over the last several months to town Plan Commission meetings and several hundreds to public forums at local churches and other locations, with some saying the U.S. Constitutional guarantee of freedom of worship dictated approval while others said the mosque could attract Islamic fundamentalists and even terrorists to the area.
In an earlier story we learned that the owner of the property is a Pakistani, the Imam is a Palestinian from Gaza and refugee families need the mosque.
Mansoor Mirza, a Pakistani-born physician who bought the four-acre property and plans on leasing it to the Islamic Society, estimated 80 to 100 Muslim families live in Sheboygan County and that 20 or 25 of them were likely to attend the mosque. Mirza recently moved to Sheboygan from Manitowoc. Mirza is board certified in internal medicine at Holy Family Memorial in Manitowoc.
Mohammad Hamad, the group’s imam, or spiritual leader, and Mirza said a large number of those Muslims are European, especially Albanian and Bosnian refugees. Others, Hamad said, hail from Tajikistan, Jordan and Syria. Hamad is a Palestinian from Gaza who moved to the United States 10 years ago. Hamad works in the Sheboygan area as a consulting engineer.
This story is filed in our ‘stealth jihad’ category for obvious reasons.