Tuesday, September 5, 2017


OPEN, but since the main purpose of the blog was to provide info on the proposed Mosque in Newton County and since nothing is going on there at present, it is OPEN but other minor items are being posted about Islam and Mosques, over and above the original idea of what the site should be.  

Keep scrolling down if you want the info on the Newton County/Covington problems.

This recently appearing article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution has nothing to do with the original purpose of this blog site, which was to provide info on the Newton County and Covington (Ga.) land purchase for  the Mosque. It is used here, along with other items, to provide readers with info on Mosques and the general topic of Islam.  There has been some interest in this site from various Islamic countries, particularly Pakistan.  I have no idea why but all are welcome to take a look at the info here.

Note:  Kennesaw, Ga, also ended up getting sued when three years ago they tried to block the opening of a Mosque in a store front strip mall.  I lived in Kennesaw for 15 years and saw the issue develop.  So here is the latest info FYI.

You can also go directly to that Kennesaw info via:
 http://suffadawa.blogspot.com/ and the resulting civil suit against the City of Kennesaw at: http://suffadawatsuit.blogspot.com/

Added on 11-16-18

Traffic, safety brought up; project approved in 2011.

By Amanda C. Coyne Amanda.Coyne@ajc.com

LILBURN - The expansion of Dar-E Abbas mosque’s parking lot in Lilburn has been approved since 2011, but now that the project is finally underway, some neighbors are objecting to the city council, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“I have no idea why this is happening because this plan was supposed to be started a long time ago,” said Wasi Zaidi, trustee and CEO of Dar-E Abbas.

The city and Dar-E Abbas reached an agreement over the planned expansion in 2011 after a two-year dispute that landed in federal court. At that point, the mosque believed it would take five years to raise the money to begin the first phase of construction; seven years later, it’s just begun, Zaidi told The Atlantajoumal-Constitution.

The project will add 178 parking spots to the mosque on Lawrenceville Highway near Hood Road. The parking lot will prevent members from having to park at nearby Bryson Park or at other locations when the mosque is busy, Zaidi said. But residents went to the Lilburn City Council meeting on Monday saying the parking lot could lead to extra traffic and slow emergency response services.

“Say, if we needed the police or the firemen and traffic’s in the way, they couldn’t get here,” neighbor Donna Chapman told Channel 2.

Zaidi rejected that idea, saying that the parking lot would just allow members who already regularly attend the mosque to have more convenient on-site parking.

“We’re trying to beautify the city and add convenience to our people for parking so we don’t have to use parking for the park,” Zaidi said. “We do have a few days when our services are in the daytime, but usually our services are when there is no traffic on the street. Our members are working people, they go to work and then after they come home they go to the mosque, so they are not creating additional traffic.”

A city study concluded that the mosque’s expansion, including the new parking, would have “little impact” on traffic during peak hours, Channel 2 reported. The city is exploring the possibility of adding a traffic light, something Zaidi said would be helpful to ensure safe traffic flow.

Zaidi and other mosque leaders did not know people would be complaining about the project during the city’s public comment period, but he said he’s open to talking to anybody who has problems or concerns.

“We love our neighbors. We don’t have any problems with our neighbors,” Zaidi said. “We need to keep our neighbors happy and do the right thing. ... They can come and talk to us, and we can try to solve their problems if we can.”



Misc Info/Comment:
Those familiar with the Robert Parker series of the Spencer novels might be interested to know that the 2017 book 'Little White Lies' has about 1/4th of the action in the Atlanta/Rockdale County area including a section where Spencer interacts with the supposed Owner/Publisher of the Rockdale Citizen. Some of the articles on this blog site are from this newspaper. 

9/5/17 NOTE:   The below article is not on point to the Newton County/Covington Mosque issue, but due to the lack of anything going on regarding that problem and due to the interest shown in the blog site from overseas countries, I will drop it here at the top of the blog site as it is of 'general' interest and information.  Thanks for looking in now and then:

Settlement Paves Way for Pennsylvania Mosque Construction

(CN) – A nonprofit Muslim group was given the green light Tuesday to build a mosque in a Pennsylvania township after the Justice Department settled a year-long legal battle accusing the township of discrimination on the basis of religion.
The group, Bensalem Masjid, contacted the U.S. Department of Justice in 2014 alleging that Bensalem, Pa., denied its zoning application for a mosque in an act of religious discrimination.
After reviewing the group’s claims, the DOJ filed a complaint in July 2016 against Bensalem, claiming it violated the U.S. Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA.
Members of Bensalem Masjid spent more than a year looking for a suitable location before finally submitting their proposal for a 27,243-square-foot mosque to the town’s mayor, Joseph DiGirolamo.
After 18 meetings and six hearings over several months that included talks with DiGirolamo, Bensalem’s Township Council and members of its zoning board left the group no closer to approval for the mosque’s construction.
During the meetings, the zoning board raised concerns over the size of the mosque and specifically cited worries over the “possible growth of the mosque’s membership,” according to the DOJ’s complaint.
A proposal for a smaller mosque was also allegedly rejected, as was the group’s offering of abbreviated prayer services to address the city’s concerns over increased congestion.
Bensalem Masjid contacted the DOJ shortly after discovering that four Catholic schools, a Hindu temple and Buddhist temple were approved for construction in the same area where its proposed mosque was rejected.
Under Bansalem’s zoning codes, religious institutions are permitted only within the town’s so-called “institutional district.” Anyone wanting to build a religious institution outside that district must apply for a zoning variance and meet a series of specific conditions. The Justice Department claimed Bensalem Masjid met all five and was still rejected.
On Tuesday, the allegations were resolved in a settlement agreement granting Bensalem Masjid permission to use three adjoining properties to build its mosque in the township.
“The township has also agreed to review and amend its zoning ordinance to comply with the requirements of RLUIPA. Additionally, the township has agreed that it will advise its officials and employees about the requirements of RLUIPA, among other remedial measures,” the DOJ said in a statement.
The new mosque will mean more convenience for local Muslims. Until it is built, members of Bensalem Masjid must drive 20 minutes to reach the nearest mosque, which can prove to be a difficult task because the faith dictates that prayers must be recited five times a day and should be led by a dedicated imam.
John Gore, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement that federal law “protects the rights of all religious communities to build places of worship free from discrimination.”
“This agreement ensures that all citizens of Bensalem Township may freely exercise this important civil right,” Gore said.
Bensalem was founded in 1692 and is home to 60,000 people.


Worth a look, it is from 2008 but there is a lot of info FYI.
Also if you have time you can drop in at one of my several blogs on Islam at: http://almaadalislami.blogspot.com/ This has links to other sites like the Mosque screw up in Kennesaw 3 yrs ago and another on the civil suit that cost the City of Kennesaw some $.

To better understand Islam, one must appreciate the thoroughly legalistic nature of the religion. According to sharia (Islamic law) every conceivable human act is categorised as being either forbidden, discouraged, permissible, recommended, or obligatory

Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals, Pew research says

Posted: 10:42 a.m. Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Ten years ago, only 27 percent of Muslims in the United States said homosexuality should be accepted by society and 61 percent said same-sex relationships should be discouraged.
But according to a Pew Research Center report released last week, the majority of Muslim Americans today — 52 percent — are now accepting of homosexuality, following a trend found in other American faith groups.
And even the Muslims who said religion is “very important” in their lives, have become 28 points more accepting since 2007.
Compared to other American faith groups, Muslim Americans are more accepting of homosexuality than white evangelicals (34 percent) and black Protestants (50 percent), but are not as accepting as white mainline Protestants (76 percent) and Catholics (66 percent).
Like Americans overall, Muslims now more accepting of homosexuality
Young Muslim Americans (Muslim millennials) also tend to be more accepting of homosexuality. Between 2007 and 2017, the percentage of Muslim millennials in America that said homosexuality should be accepted by society jumped from 33 percent to 60 percent.
The Pew report, which includes data from more than 1,000 adult U.S. Muslims, also found the majority of Muslim Americans continue to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (66 percent) and 39 percent describe themselves as politically moderate.
Forty-four percent of Muslims eligible to vote cast ballots in last year's presidential election, compared to 37 percent in 2007. Those numbers on Muslim voting are compared to 60 percent of eligible voters overall who cast ballots in 2016.
Muslims overwhelmingly backed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who drew 78 percent of their vote compared to 8 percent for Trump.
Alarmed by the anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, American Muslim leaders, made an unprecedented push to register voters in mosques and at community events, leading to higher overall turnout.
Pew researchers estimate the number of U.S. Muslims has been growing by 100,000 each year, reaching 3.35 million, or 1 percent of the American population.
By 2050, they estimate Islam will supplant Judaism as the second-most popular religion in the U.S. with Muslims making up 2.1 percent of the future population.
Just over half of U.S. Muslims identify as Sunni, while 16 percent identify as Shiite. Nearly six in 10 adult American Muslims were born outside the U.S.
The largest share of immigrants come from South Asian countries such as Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, while others have come from Iraq, Iran, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.
American-born blacks make up about 13 percent of all Muslims in America, but their share is shrinking. Overall, eight in 10 are U.S. citizens, according to the survey.
Eight in 10 American Muslims also said they were concerned about Islamic extremism, and more than 70 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about Islamic extremism in the U.S.
However, three of 10 said that most of those arrested recently on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack had been tricked by law enforcement authorities and did not represent a real threat.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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