No Islamic Center For St. Anthony For Now

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?

No Islamic Center For St. Anthony For Now

206 thoughts on “No Islamic Center For St. Anthony For Now

  1. 1

    “Islam is evil. There’s no other religion in the world that endorses violence,”

    My family often tosses this one out there. I always correct them saying, “Islam is the only religion you hear about in popular media endorsing violence against the people you don’t think deserve it. Every religion endorses violence when it suits their needs.”

    They try to argue, but I just ask them to drive through town with me and give me $100 for every “God Bless Our Troops” bumper sticker we see. Then they sigh and stare off blankly before trying to weasel around that one.

  2. 4

    The idea of a zoning issue is completely ridiculous. The biggest complaints were other than tax renvues were about traffic, parking, and noise. It was a former company headquarters, so it is not in a residential neighborhood. Also, that area isn’t a heavy industry area either so safety shouldnt be a concern. Like you mentioned, the mayor already debunked the tax concern reasoning.

    I’m no bigger of a fan of Islam than Christianity, but I’m willing to bet my immortal soul that if it was a Lutheran group that wanted to build they’d have been cleared.

    1. 4.1

      The whole problem with everybody getting up in arms about this whole incident, is that the Islamic group would only occupy the basement of the facility, and would then rent out the remaining space. The zoning issue is precisely that. As a resident in St. Anthony, I would much rather an actual business move in there and offer some job growth, and not have a religious group come in and simply try and make a profit. The facility is big, and even if they were taxed on the rent that they charged, they would still be making a ton of money. That is primarily what people took issue with. If Lutheran Brotherhood wanted to move in and do the same thing, I would vote against it.

      1. Sorry, what? Why wouldn’t whoever they rent the remaining space out to create the job growth you’re concerned about? No basement, no job growth?
        And why should they not make money from buying the property and renting it out, if they are properly taxed? Are you opposed to renting out in general, or am I missing something?

  3. 5

    Our constitution guaranties freedom of speech and religion so it certainly doesn’t look good when a government official says “Islam is evil. There’s no other religion in the world that endorses violence,”…

    The real unfortunate problem is that he really is correct as this article shows

    Cleric says polio vaccination ‘un-islamic, warns of jihad against docs

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