Stealth jihad in Knoxville: mosque attempts to impose Islamic restrictions on alcohol upon non-Muslims.
KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- Plans are underway to open a new restaurant in a Fort Sanders neighborhood building that has sat empty for years. Its owner wants to serve alcohol, and that's a problem for members of the Muslim Community of Knoxville nearby.
The two buildings are 191 feet apart. The mosque is at 100 13th Street and the restaurant would be at 1105 Forest Avenue.
According to a Knoxville city ordinance, beer can't be sold within 300 feet of a house of worship. But as it turns out, there are other laws that make the issue more complicated.
"We assumed that in Knoxville, all houses of worship would have some sort of buffer," Nadeem Siddiqi says.
The Corleone family had a lot of buffers, but do houses of worship really need them?
Siddiqi is talking about the building being renovated behind Annoor Mosque. It was once an eyesore.
In another month, it may become home to "The Hill," a restaurant that serves alcohol and has music and dancing.
"We're trying to promote some conservative behavior to some degree, and being right next to a nightclub seems like a bad location for us," Siddiqi says.
Memo to Mr. Siddiqi: it is not "conservative" to try to compel your non-Muslim neighbors to abide by Islamic law. Also, many conservatives, in fact, drink alcohol.
Still, construction continues on the restaurant.
The owner, Trevor Hill, says he doesn't see any problem with the location. He's applied for a beer permit and liquor license and he intends to have a large menu.
"I want to feed the community. We are providing a service to the Fort Sanders community and we have a good blue plate, a good cheap lunch and dinner," Hill says.
The city won't issue a beer permit if the restaurant in question is within 300 feet of a church and in this situation, the restaurant is less than 200 feet from the mosque and community center.
But if the state issues a liquor license, it's a different story.
A city ordinance reads that the distance requirement is void if the restaurant receives a state license for liquor by the drink. The state does not have a distance requirement.
"They're entitled to their opinion, and I am in compliance with the codes and laws of the state of Tennessee and Knox County so I don't know what else to do," Hill says.
Good. Stand your ground!
He plans to hire 50 employees and open his doors in early April. By that time, he hopes to have a liquor license in hand.
The beer board deferred approval for a permit for The Hill Tuesday night as it has several times.
Beer Board Chairman Steve Hall says the board isn't going to make a decision about giving the owner a beer permit until the state approves or denies the liquor license.
The board will meet again on April 21 and likely take up the issue.