‘No ragheads’ response to plan for Islamic centre in Illinois town
Timoth Sylvia, pastor of HOPE United Church of Christ in Naperville, first noticed the signs saying “Vote No to Mosque on 248” early this week.
The signs relate to the possible annexation into Naperville of a 14-acre property on 248th Avenue just south of 95th Street. The land is currently owned by the United Church of Christ’s national organization. However, the Islamic Center of Naperville is working to purchase the land and get it annexed into the city. The site includes a four-bedroom house which United Church of Christ used for offices before moving to its new location at 1701 Quincy Ave. in Naperville this summer. The rest of the property is farmland.
The annexation was discussed on Wednesday night at the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The meeting may have been the spark for those who put the signs up in the area.
Sylvia said he got word Monday that signs had been put up on the property. He said one sign put in the front yard of the property said “No Ragheads on 248”. “It was just disheartening,” he said. There were also signs saying a basic “Vote No to Mosque on 248” on utility poles up and down 248th Avenue, he said, and also along stretches of Route 59 in Naperville.
See also Chicago Tribune, 7 October 2011