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Neighbors oppose construction of mosque on Longview street

25 January 2012 General 34 Comments Email This Post Email This Post



Some tight knit neighbors in Longview are protesting construction of a mosque on their street.  The spot is technically in Gregg county but right next to their homes.

“We have respect for their religion and we’re not against that but we just did not want all the traffic,” says neighbor Rhonda Harris.

The land is being cleared and they are preparing for Longview’s first mosque.  It’s not going up in a busy commercial section of Longview but instead on Amy which is quiet dead end street.  “Why would any establishment would come in here and open up something that’s going to be open 24 hours a day with traffic in and out,” asks neighbor Elizabeth Owens.  “These streets will not accommodate that.”

But they don’t have to says Saleem Shabazz, spokesperson for the Islamic center in Longview. He says the crowd won’t be more than 40 to 50 people on a given night – so it won’t be noisy or crowded. “I was hoping that we could accomplish this without any conflict but at the same time I kind of expected it,” says Shabazz.

Besides the increase in traffic concerned neighbors tell CBS 19 they are also worried about the noise. A typical mosque will have a PA system announcing when it is time to pray but the community building this mosque says there’s no need to worry.   “In consideration and in being good neighbors we can give the call to prayer inside the building and it doesn’t need to bother anybody,” says Shabazz.

But people who live here say that’s not enough. They don’t have a problem with the Muslim faith but they want to show love of Christianity.  “The neighborhood joined together and we put up the Jesus signs to support Jesus Christ in our church and our community,” says neighbor Howard Hilsher.

The 2500 square foot mosque is on donated land. For the past 20 years Muslims in Longview have met at an apartment complex. “I think it is important for us as Muslims to have something there in the city that represents us,” says Shabazz.

Neighbors say they’ll continue to fight to have this stopped.

The Islamic center of Longview says the construction should be done in about 6 months.

Original post: Neighbors oppose construction of mosque on Longview street

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34 Comments »

  1. Churches sometimes do this too and infuriate neighborhoods. Problem solved when cities designate a house of religion zone. Get a clue, everybody.

    Let’s go to a muslim paradise and plonk a church right down next to some muslims houses and see what we get.

  2. I lived on a dead end street as did several other families. They are great due to limited traffic and it made allowing your children outside to play easier as you did not have to worry about constant 2 way traffic. The end of the street was great in that you could play there and not worry about traffic at all. If someone was speeding up and down the road you could go talk to them and usually get results. I think I would get very upset if someone had moved a church or other facility at the end of the street, it sort of defeats the purpose of buying a house and living on a dead end street as it changes the nature of the entire neighborhood. People pick where they live for many reasons and dead end streets are simply great for families. What this community needs is better zoning laws to prevent things like this from happening.

  3. In retrospect to my comments, The Mosque may find it is more welcome if it builds a nice playground and an area where the kids can skateboard and ride their bikes around. The safety the kids have had in the past is going to be compromised by the building of this mosque and the increased traffic in the area but this could be offset by investing in a nice playground or small park with children and teenagers in mind.

  4. So what? It’s not up to them. If they’re that upset by it, they can move.

  5. Geez louise

  6. Maybe they should chk w/neighboring communities 2 C wat an asset the Mosque w/be. Stop the Hate & Try & Relate.

  7. On behalf of the entire Ark-La-Tex, I apologize.

    And please be careful after the mosque is built – many people in this part of the country are inclined to commit hate crimes.

    You have a wonderful opportunity to teach love & tolerance to your neighbors – I hope they will learn to be loving in return!

  8. And these are the same people that would fight to keep prayer in school. So I guess religious freedom is okay as long as it is their religion.

  9. i really thought the neighbors were concerned with the traffic until i read about the jesus signs. why do people think there is a competition among the faiths?

  10. intolerance, hatred and bigotry is rampant. We must stop electing the party that acts as if we are at war with a religion practiced by 1.5 billion people worldwide

  11. Burn it to the ground! Lol! Put a PIG PEN right next door, and bar-b-que “AND” “EAT” LOTS OF PORK THERE TOO!!!!! :)

  12. Brunetta, I see you’re practicing that “love thy neighbor” that Jesus preached about. I’m pretty sure he didn’t say “love ONLY YOUR neighbors who think/pray like you do.”

    For shame.

  13. This is sad.

  14. But they’re destroying our freedoms, so we’re gonna destroy their freedoms back! This strategy is valid. X(

  15. What if someone set up a pig pen next to Brunetta’s house and she had to put up with pig faces all day and night, that would be funny!

  16. I liked the part where Brunetta was a bigot and is going to hell in just about any religion she could possibly believe in. That was cute.

  17. A 2,500 sq. ft building on a spot that is zoned for it should not receive this sort of ire. However, after having grown up on the East coast, and moved west, I find folks back there intolerant and bigoted about anything that they deem not in their own interests. It’s repugnant and to hear people claim Christianity is somehow better, or, for that matter, different than the Muslim faith, is ludicrous. If those folks would actually read their own scriptures, they might find that tolerance is the mission, not the hatred that comes through with their every word.

  18. These people need to get over themselves: there are people with ideas and beliefs different from them. It’s called diversity . . . why feel threatened? It’s natural!

  19. Maybe those folk belong to that special Christian sect that believes Jesus really talked about hate and spite and that self-righteousness was really a good thing.

  20. I love how when something like this comes up, we use that to define what Christianity is. You are just as bigoted as you claim them to be! I can’t/won’t speak for them, but being a sound believer, they have right to a mosque and the right to exercise their religious freedoms…

  21. What a bunch of hot air! If they aren’t AGAINST Islam, then why the Jesus signs?? I’m a devout Episcoplaian, but would never consider condemning or stopping someone else’s right to worship and be called to prayer. I also don’t think my faith is superior to anyone els’e, just my choice. It’s what I’m comfortable with. One reason being, because my church is so accepting of all faiths, and all individuals walks in life. I’m not surprised this is happening in TEXAS though!! It totally figures….

  22. please remind me of the last time a bunch of Americans opposed the building of a Christian church. I may not be a Muslim, but they sure are a bunch of great people to have around.

  23. Anon, for your information we have plenty of churches in the Muslim world. Islamic states allow the Christians to practice their faith. Again Go study, you always seem to be talking without any knowledge, or you simply try to convey your ignorance at any price!

  24. Well they can exchange it for another location, but they still need the mosque to pray. This is the minimum a Muslim needs

  25. A house of religion zone solves these problems.

    Salim, I have studied, that is why I am annoyed. You should study too. Then you wouldn’t be so confident in the good will and tolerance of your coreligionists.

  26. Oh yeah you studied everything on google search! you are a Doctor now!!

    and why would you be annoyed? That Muslims might have a mosque?

    Well mosques were present centuries before you were born and will be until the end of this world even after you would have gone back to the grave.

    Anon, Do not tell me to study or not, because from a person like you I do not even take a direction to heaven if you knew where it was.

    I just can not stand your views, not because you seem to be here just to annoy people but you want to show that Muslims and ISLAM are all evil!

    I would have no problems if you views were against us and you had your own views, but you seem to use insults and making fun such as the comment about the Muslims in the west and other comments such as we are only worried about the scarves, and the expulsion issue etc..

    Remember you insult people and you will only receive the same treatment.

  27. How do you know I am not a Doctor? We are all at a complete remove thank God.

  28. Just another comment on the Mosque: looking at the photo there is another reason to oppose it. Notice the width of the street and the cheap construction of the road. If that road has to be repaired and widened due to increase traffic flow every person there will have to suffer their yard being torn up and lose a portion of their lawn for the road to meet current code guidelines. The more successful this Mosque is the more likely it will happen.

  29. Anon
    Obviously by your level of knowledge and intelligence! one does not need to be a rocket scientist to realize that!

  30. Criley,

    Do you think the local people would have complained it a church was to be built there? I personally do not know but I sincerely think they would have only had a negative feeling about it and not more than that!

    But as it is a mosque then it has become a trend to make noise and that is what is most annoying. America has at least 3 trillions Dollars from Saudi, 50 billion from Algeria and others, Americans are enjoying the money but when a few Muslims who live in America want to build a mosque, everything is ignored! Anyway I am glad that not all Americans are the same!

  31. You see Mr Anon, Criley has his own views, even he does not agree that this is the wrong location for a mosque, then that is fine, we all agree to disagree! but it is done in a respectful manner! I hope you might learn something!

  32. I have seen a church ruin a neighborhood. Huge parking lot went in. I have no idea how the neighbors sold their property, probably had to sell it to the church.

    It was horrendous. Ate the neighborhood like a cancer. After that the town put in a zone for religious houses.

  33. Yes I would not want a church of any type at the end of a dead end street I was living on if I had children. A dead end street is a selling point for a lot of people who buy houses and want to raise their children in a safe neighborhood. When you place a business/institution at the end of such a street it can lower home values and risk the safety of the children who want to ride their bikes or skateboards on what was a safe street. I am sure all the Mosque members will be good people but it will not stop a few of them from speeding up and down that street. In the end this is going to cause a problem on both sides.

  34. Criley, you bring some interesting points about zoning and the children being less safe… I’m sure if this was brought to the attention of the builders of this Masjid (what “Mosque” is called in the Qur’an, which literally means “place of prostration (to God)”) they’d take it into account and try to solve that issue.

    However, this seems like there is little to no desire to actually come to a compromise on the side of those who are trying to oppose its construction. They want it to not happen, period. If they’re issues are exclusively based on traffic/safety than there certainly is room for compromise and no need for demands to totally end the construction of this mosque.

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