I support the Plymouth Mosque

Plymouth weighs in on mosque


Muslim families in the northwest metro suburbs, who for years have moved from one place to another for prayer services, were waiting to see Tuesday night whether they would get permission to open a mosque at Plymouth's soon-to-be-closed post office.

The Plymouth City Council was to decide whether the Northwest Islamic Community Center could buy and move into the building. The center plans to remodel it for family activities and to serve the worship needs of about 40 Muslim families centered in the Plymouth area.

The center would be open for daily prayer and may begin a Sunday school program, said Najam Qureshi, a database manager who chairs the Islamic center's board. Activities will be offered to the broader public, including tutoring sessions for kids.

The post office has been scheduled to close, but the Islamic center proposes to keep open the customer service counter by leasing part of the building back to the U.S. Postal Service. Most other operations at the post office were moved last year to St. Louis Park.

"Overall, we're united as a community here, the broader community," Qureshi said. "This is not a divided neighborhood. ... It's a disappointment that people look at this as controversial. It isn't."

Last week, Plymouth's Planning Commission unanimously approved the plan after considering how the building, across the street from City Hall, would be used and whether it has adequate parking and access.

Scores of people attended last week's hearing, with two reportedly criticizing the Islamic center's plans. They were said to be concerned about Islamic infiltration of the United States.

Qureshi, who has lived in Plymouth since 1994, said families have met for worship at a variety of community centers from Maple Grove to Hamel. "It gets confusing for people and also expensive," he said.

Qureshi said they had looked at several locations in Plymouth and the surrounding area. A good possibility in Maple Grove was rejected because it was too close to a liquor store, he said.

The group needed to get a conditional use permit from the city because it will use the facility for religious purposes. Muslims conduct prayer services every day.

The 30-year-old post office building has 10,500 square feet. It's listed for sale for $800,000.

Comment: Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Assemble. It's in the Bill of Rights

No comments:

Post a Comment

Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic