Controversy Over Proposed Mosque in Longview
It's reported that some people in Longview are upset over the prospect of having a Muslim mosque in their neighborhood. The residents insist however, that they have nothing against the Islamic religion.
They don't want the traffic and noise a mosque will create.
The Longview Islamic Center is under construction at the end of a dead end street in a quiet residential area, and that's what is bothering people who live there. It won't be just a "mosque". It will be an Islamic Center the residents say will attract large crowds and ruin their quiet neighborhood.
The spokesman for the Islamic center, Saleem Shabazz, says the residents have little to be worried about. He says there will never be more than 40 or 50 people at the center on a given night - so it won't be crowded.
As for the expected noise, mosques do, after all, use a public address system to call Muslims to prayer five times a day. Shabazz says, in the spirit of being good neighbors, "we can give the call to prayer inside the building and it doesn't need to bother anybody."
Despite the reassurances, the neighbors say they're not giving up their fight to stop the construction.
Longview's small Muslim community has held its meetings wherever they could find the space for more than 20 years. The mosque will be their first permanent facility.
We probably haven't heard the last of this. As the mosque goes up, the residents have been papering their street and the neighborhood with signs proclaiming their love for Jesus and Christianity.
It's just a matter of time before someone calls that a "hate crime."