A Michigan city’s planning commission turned down a request to build a mosque last week.
The decision was made on the eve of the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack on U.S. soil by Islamic extremists.
An overflow crowd of hundreds chanted “No more mosques!” and “God bless America” outside, after the Sterling Heights City Hall was filled to its 240-seat capacity, according to Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ Channel 7 News.
At issue was the proposed mosque’s size — 20,500 square feet — to be built within a residential area.
Those against the mosque say it would cause too much traffic and congestion. A small group hinted at linking the house of worship to extremism.
Mosque leaders say they offered to revise and downsize the plan, changing the dome and towers, but that didn’t work.
When the decision was announced, the crowd both inside and out loudly cheered.
The imam requesting the project wasn’t cheering, though.
“I think it is more about ignorance,” Mohammad Ali Elah, of the Islamic House of Wisdom, told FOX 2.
It’s tough to believe there could be that much ignorance about a mosque in a town like Sterling Heights. For one thing, the city is in the southeast corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula, close to Dearborn, which has the second-largest Muslim population in the Western world.
Paris, which was the site of the Jan. 7 Charlie Hebdo massacre by Islamic extremists, is No. 1 in that regard.
For another thing, it would have been the third mosque in Sterling Heights, so it’s apparent the population knows a thing or two about Islam.
Dearborn is also home of the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America and the oldest Shia mosque in the United States.
What is also clear is that for opponents, it was one too many.
Watch the news report via WXYZ.
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