Community News (V13-I35)

August 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mosque parking lot decision delayed

SAMMAMISH,WA–The City of Sammamish has delayed its decision on the construction of a parking lot next to a mosque, the Sammamish Review reported.

Senior Planner Evan Maxim said the city has given the Sammamish Muslim Association until November 11 to reply to the city’s request for more information on their project.

The group is seeking to install a 38-stall parking lot and officially convert their single-family home into a religious use facility for 50 to 80 families who worship there.

Maxim said the city has asked the group for more information on the potential uses of the building, landscape designs near the proposed parking lot and the amount of people coming and going at given times of the day.The group has been operating on a temporary agreement with the city since buying the property in 2009.

Woodland’s mosque holds Iftar for community

WOODLAND,CA–Woodland’s Muslim Mosque held a community iftar open to everyone last week. About 300 people attended the event.

Among those attending the breaking of the fast were Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel, Vice Mayor Skip Davies, Yolo Sheriff Ed Prieto, Woodland Police Chief Dan Bellini and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada.

Yamada used the occasion to note it was the Japanese in America who were discriminated against as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor some 70 years ago, which generated a great deal of sympathy today when American Muslims were vilified immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

As such, she said, Japanese Americans were the first to support American Muslims being discriminated against after the 911 attacks.

“This country made a mistake” 70 years ago when Japanese were imprisoned, lost their property and possessions as a result of discrimination, Yamada said. “But it admitted to that mistake, made reparations and apologized.”

“We have learned that we can take the high road,” Yamada continued. “We can build peace and community together.”

Yolo Sheriff Ed Prieto and Woodland Mayor Art Pimentel talked about the importance of family structure and a sharing of cultures.

Buffalo Mosque organizes parking lot Bazaar

BUFFALO,NY–A Buffalo mosque opened its parking lot to provide opportunity for underemployed Queen City residents.

Muhammad’s Mosque welcomed inner-city neighbors to a community market and international bazaar.

It gives up to 50 people a chance to make and sell items and give buyers a place to get what they need without heading out to the suburban malls or factory outlets.

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Pastor Concerned About Carnegie Mosque

June 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Jill King Greenwood

The Rev. Keith Tucci preaches from a pulpit more than an hour from Carnegie, but he’s concerned about a different religious community’s plans to relocate there. Tucci, pastor of the Living Hope Church in Latrobe, said he has “serious concerns” about members of a Muslim mosque who want to move to a former Presbyterian church in the heart of Carnegie’s business district. Tucci said he and members of his congregation will travel to Carnegie on Monday to pass out “informational packets” about the Muslim faith.

“I have questions: Who are these people? Are they American citizens? Has anyone done a background check on them?” said Tucci, whose church is part of a national network of Bible-based churches with headquarters in Reserve, La., according to its website. “I’m not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. We need more information about these people before they are allowed to move in and ruin a community.”

Carnegie Councilman Rick D’Loss, president of the borough’s synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Achim, said some residents asked questions about the plan for the building but generally expressed support.

“In a town of 8,000 people, of course you’ll have some dissenting opinions, but Carnegie is a very inclusive place,” D’Loss said. “Muslims have rights just like anyone else, and they can pray as they choose. It’s a shame that we have to keep telling people that. I find it funny that a group is going to drive all the way from Westmoreland to tell us we shouldn’t allow the Muslims to be in our community.

“If we say no Muslims, then we have to say no Jews, too. Then what?”

The borough council on June 14 approved the Attawheed Islamic Center’s request to convert the 19,000-square-foot stone and brick building along East Main Street into a place for prayer and religious education. No residents expressed opposition at a public hearing about the mosque or during the council meeting that followed. The Muslim group rents space on Banksville Road.

Even with council approval, it’s unclear when the group would move into the building, which needs extensive repairs, including a roof. Al-Walid Mohsen, vice president and manager of the Attawheed Islamic Center, did not return calls for comment.

Police Chief Jeff Harbin, who is the part-time borough manager, said the Living Hope Church group has a right to come to Carnegie and pass out information and talk about concerns, as long as they do so peacefully.

“I grew up in Carnegie, and we tend to welcome everyone,” Harbin said. “We believe in the right of people to express their opinions, and we respect the First Amendment. People are free to disagree.”

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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