St. Anthony council rejects Islamic center; "Islam is evil," says one opponent

Categories: Religion
john murlowski.jpg
KSTP
Said project opponent John Murlowski: "Islam is evil."
Lori Saroya, executive director of Minnesota's Council on American-Islamic Relations, says her organization will ask the US Department of Justice to look into what went down at the St. Anthony City Council meeting last night.

By a 4-1 vote, council rejected the Abu-Huraira Islamic Center's request to move into a 13,000 square-foot property in an area zoned for light industrial development. The conditional-use permit Abu-Huraira sought would've allowed for a mosque on the property.

Abu-Huraira's request had the backing of the city's Planning Commission. But city councilors cited concerns about using some of the city's limited amount of industrial property for a non-industrial use before voting to reject the request.

KSTP reports that the meeting was attending by about 100 people, most of them against the project.

One opponent, John Murlowski, said "there is no other religion in the world that condones violence. Islam is evil."

Another, Rob Lundeen, said "there are no pluses at all in letting this mosque into our city."

Hours before the vote, Saroya urged the St. Anthony council to approve the center, saying "this is about doing the right thing and upholding our nation's principles of freedom of religion."

But city officials pointed out that St. Anthony rejected a similar request from a Christian group just last year. In that case, officials cited parking concerns; in the Islamic center's case, the worry is more about eroding the city's tax base. Assuming the industrial property is being used productively, it can provide more tax revenue to the city than if it were repurposed for a religious use.
lori sar.jpg
KSTP
Saroya wants the Justice Department to investigate the city's rationale for rejecting the Islamic center.

Mark Casey, St. Anthony's city manager, told the Pioneer Press that "because of the limited amount of light industrial we have available... we want to protect it."

"It's in the best interest of the city for economic reasons," he said.

But Saroya isn't convinced by the city's on-the-record rationale. This spring, CAIR, citing opposition from folks like Murlowski and Lundeen, accused St. Anthony officials of intentionally slowing the Islamic Center's approval process by implementing a moratorium on conditional-use permits for assemblies, meeting lodges, and convention halls in light-industrial and commercial areas. The city said the requests from the Christian group and from Abu-Huraira both factored in equally when the moratorium was being considered.

Nonetheless, Saroya intends to find out what the Justice Department has to say.

See also:
-- Somalis walk off job at Minnesota dessert factory in protest of company's new burqa ban
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10 comments
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Lestor
Lestor

"Hours before the vote...urged the St. Anthony council to (do) ...the right thing and upholding our nation's principles of freedom of religion."  city officials pointed out that St. Anthony rejected a similar request from a Christian group just last year".  The problem is right there as in upholding our nation's principles of freedom of religion. The separation of church and state. Muslims have been given special privileges, in Minnesota, for the type of religious considerations, in schools, in work places, which we've openly denied Jews and Christians, with similar requests.  We ever great freedom, across the board, or we deny it equally.  

Chris Pederson
Chris Pederson

Loving xtians at their most honest. Freedom is only for them. The rest... can go F themselves.

NumLock
NumLock

Nobody expects...the Spanish inquisition!!

Asdf
Asdf

The country was founded because of unfair taxation put upon people who had no representation in the English governing body.

Dr. J
Dr. J

 The Pope is currently hiding Bernie Law in the Vatican so he doesn't have to face questions from the Boston police about his role in hiding pedophile priests.  The Pope personally took part in covering up the molestations of 200 deaf kids.

godisfake
godisfake

Good, I hope the Muslims retaliate by burning churches.

Nashville B
Nashville B

They would have denied the catholic church as well.  It was a zoning issue if you didn't read the multiple articles out...

guest
guest

& those Westboro turds

Erica
Erica

One opponent, John Murlowski, said "there is no other religion in the world that condones violence. Islam is evil." Clearly Murlowski forgot about Christianity. After all it gave us The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, Eric Rudolph, and Scott Roeder.

Microphone Skerschman
Microphone Skerschman

I think we need to start rejecting the catholic church. Wasn't religious persecution the main reason this so called free country was founded in the first place? These fools are of Irish decent. They must not have any knowledge of why their ancestors fled their homeland, or what they were put through when they arrived in this country?

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