This article in the Star Tribune caught my eye today.
To sum it up, a proposed center for Islamic worship and assembly that would hold 200 members would be located in an already existing building in St. Anthony, which is located just northeast of Minneapolis. The council meeting at which the proposal was voted on was attended by approximately 150 people. People who objected to the use of the building by the Muslim proponents cited concerns over reduced tax revenues (which the St. Anthony mayor denied would be true), and increased traffic in the neighborhood, and at least one guy was recorded saying this:
“Islam is evil. There’s no other religion in the world that endorses violence,” said John Murlowski, before Faust [the mayor of St. Anthony] cut him off.
The council, which rejected the proposal 4-1 cited land-use and zoning conflicts.
First, nearly every religion has an extremist wing that feels use of violence is justified in the defense or practice of their religion. Islam is not the only religion in the world that endorses violence. The “reduced tax revenue” claim sounds like it was debunked and the “increased traffic” sounds a lot like “we don’t want those brown, Twin Towers-bombin’ people in our neighborhood”. It sounds like the Good People of St. Anthony are grasping for reasons to reject the mosque.
Second, I’m guessing St. Anthony taxpayers are going to be paying out the nose for this. If the Muslim proponents don’t sue, I’ll be shocked.
Any of you locals following this story? Is the zoning law claim going to hold water?