“Complaints about the proposal, he said, are often based on ignorance. Some residents do not understand that Islam teaches peace.” Oh. Yet what John Wilson said about mosques being used as staging grounds for terrorist activities is true, is it not? Why can’t the local Muslims deal with that objection honestly and fully, instead of consigning it to “hatred” and “ignorance”?
From AP, with thanks to all who sent this in:
SOMERVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Muslims planned to turn an old sod farm near Memphis into a cemetery, but angry neighbors protested, complaining the burial ground could become a staging ground for terrorists or spread disease from unembalmed bodies.
It was not the first time a group faced opposition when trying to build a cemetery or a mosque, but the dispute stood out for the clarity of its anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“We know for a fact that Muslim mosques have been used as terrorist hideouts and centers for terrorist activities,” farmer John Wilson told members of a planning commission last month.
Similar disputes have arisen elsewhere when Muslim groups sought to develop mosques or cemeteries, which are often the first Islamic institutions in some communities….
Rabiah Ahmed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said she noticed more protests of Muslim building proposals after the 2001 terrorist attacks, so she was not surprised by the cemetery critics near Memphis.
“It’s not shocking, but it is discouraging,” Ahmed said from the council’s headquarters in Washington.
Opponents told the Fayette County planning commission in November that power lines would be prime targets for terrorists in the region about 20 miles east of Memphis.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you may think this is farfetched, but that is what the Jewish people thought when the Nazis started taking a small foothold, a little at a time, in their community,” Wilson said.
In a telephone interview later, Wilson said he and his neighbors are primarily worried about their property values, but, he added, news reports cannot be ignored.
“I don’t think anyone who has read the newspaper or seen what investigations have gone on about other mosques would not have those kinds of concerns,” he said….
Complaints about the proposal, he said, are often based on ignorance. Some residents do not understand that Islam teaches peace.
“Our religion stresses acceptance by our neighbors,” Halimah said. “Even if the law is on our side, religiously we have to be careful.”