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Old 03-17-2017, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,933,912 times
Reputation: 3554

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Whoa, whoa, whoa - did we seriously just compare building a mosque in a neighborhood to building an oil refinery in a neighborhood, and then go 8 posts without even acknowledging it? I think we can all safely say there's a pretty big difference between Marathon coming into the neighborhood with some poisonous stacks and the local Imam coming into the neighborhood with an unattractive spire.

This, is why even I, a non-religious Agnostic Christian (yes this is a thing, there are tens of us!), take an issue with how we as a society treat Islam. It's another belief, just like Christianity. If we're going to permit a Christian church on every corner, we need to treat Islam with the same acceptance. It is just another belief. Personally I wish people would keep beliefs to themselves and stop constructing churches/mosques/synagogues and organizing belief altogether, but that's not going to happen, so we need to apply the constitutional protections to all religions equally.

Regarding the reference to having Agnostic Christian belief and my expressed disdain toward organized religion, this is due to my acceptance of spirituality and admittedly-geographically-based preference of Christianity, but a strong dislike of the way churches have twisted spirituality into a way to enforce their beliefs on others and extort resources from their followers. (I grew up in a strict Mormon family; Mormonism gave me serious trust issues with organized religion.) Also, before someone calls this out, one can be an Agnostic Theist - it simply requires a belief in God, but an acceptance that I have no way of knowing if their belief is right. This is why I refuse to give one faith a pass and the other a reject, for all I know - mine is just as wrong, and there is no repeatable way to test this.

What this comes down to is exactly what jackmichigan stated in his last post. If a zoning ordinance is used to prevent the construction of a mosque, the bazillions of churches in Sterling Heights can be pointed to as evidence of unequal treatment. If new zoning is put into place to strictly enforce the prevention of future churches outside of established commercial zones (or maybe this exists, I don't know SH ordinances) then I will happily join you all on the "No New Churches!" team. -- Quite frankly, I'd rather be on that team anyway.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Here.
14,551 posts, read 13,297,836 times
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You can keep trying to make this about religin all you want, but if the Muslims (or Agnostic Christians) wanted to build mosques all up and down Mound Rd or Ryan Rd, there would be no problem with that. But this stretch of 15 Mile Road is almost exclusively residential, so people would naturally oppose the "commercialization" of it.
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:44 PM
 
1,582 posts, read 1,610,405 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
You can keep trying to make this about religin all you want, but if the Muslims (or Agnostic Christians) wanted to build mosques all up and down Mound Rd or Ryan Rd, there would be no problem with that. But this stretch of 15 Mile Road is almost exclusively residential, so people would naturally oppose the "commercialization" of it.
There is also another angle to all of this which is sort of overlooked, and not fully understood by non-Middle Eastern People. Chaldeans, who are Iraqi Catholics, have left Iraq in droves with a population prior to the 2003 invasion of over 1.5 million to now a dwindling number of only 200,000 people. In addition to this, ISIS took over all the Christian villages of northern Iraq and forced the remaining inhabitants of the only remaining Christian and Yezidi area into refugees. They lost everything. As you all may know, the Detroit area is the place where they have all resettled, notably in the Sterling Heights area. The building of this mosque right in the heart of where this community has resettled is seen as an affront by them. It is, in their opinion, another form of subjugation and superiority of Islam over them, or the constant reminder of their second class status having a mosque right in their backyard. Most Americans cannot understand Arabic and have absolutely no clue about Islamic theology and what the Quran says about Christians.

In short, when Muslims pray they refer to Christians as those who have gone astray and refer to Jews as people God has incurred wrath upon. 5 times a day, this prayer is blared in mosques, and the term of Kufar (infidel) etc is a common term Muslims use for non-Muslims and Christians. Go ask a Muslim what the word Kafir or the word Nijis means. The later word means dirty.

So in short, a lot of the resistance was on the part of this Arabic speaking community who has suffered and lost everything due to Islamic teachings which are taken literally by many Muslims. They feel as if this is being funded and put there right in their hearts to provoke them and to teach them that "you may have escaped Islam in your face in the Middle East, but it is right back in your face where you have been forced to resettle." In your face for them in Iraq was being treated as second class citizens, not allowing non-Muslims to convert to Christianity, being forced to learn the Koran in school, discrimination in housing and employment etc. Now, this mosque, a symbol of what they escaped from, is right in their backyard.

Middle Eastern Christians differ from the liberal American view that "lets all hold hands and sing Kumbaya and all religions should be respected." I am not justifying their stance, I am merely giving you their perspective of what this mosque represents. To the non-Middle Eastern American, it is merely a house of worship. To the Middle Eastern Non-Muslim who left an Islamic country, the building of a mosque right in the heart of their resettled community amounts to something much much deeper as they have a cultural, historical, and social understanding of the issue which is vastly different.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,933,912 times
Reputation: 3554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retroit View Post
You can keep trying to make this about religin all you want, but if the Muslims (or Agnostic Christians) wanted to build mosques all up and down Mound Rd or Ryan Rd, there would be no problem with that. But this stretch of 15 Mile Road is almost exclusively residential, so people would naturally oppose the "commercialization" of it.
Well, I can certainly respect that.

I wouldn't ever claim to be someone who won't allow their mind to be changed, and I believe that responsible urban planning and zoning should be followed. My only fear is I would hate to see this used as a guise to discriminate. If the city would instead permit this construction elsewhere and also would reject the construction of another commercial facility at the residential site, then the city initially made the right call, and it is unfortunate to see it overturned by the federal government. If that is the case, I wish the residents luck in their lawsuit. Urban planning is important; if I believed otherwise would I post on this board? I believe minority groups should be protected, but they should not be given preference.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Phoenix AZ
6,073 posts, read 11,821,873 times
Reputation: 9716
Quote:
Originally Posted by belleislerunner View Post
I've never understood the argument of people who worry about places of worship going in next to them "due to traffic" - I can't think of a building you could construct that has less traffic impact than a church. Most have 1-4 services a week. Compare that with a Meijer, Home Depot, Tim Hortons or even a school and there's way every single day with those edifices.
I live across the street from a church (not a mosque), and I can say from experience that churches aren't necessarily great neighbors. Churches are frequently plopped into the middle of residential neighborhoods, not commercial neighborhoods - which is why they need "variances" to build huge towers, parking lots & etc. these are not sites where a Tim hortons or a Home Depot could legally build. Further, the fact that they're vacant most of the time means that your local drug-addict community can use the dark corners of the parking lots to turn tricks & shoot up. The zoning variances that are granted put the land into a different legal status than "residential", so even in a zoning/deed restricted area, the pastor/mullah (whatever) can legally park a motor home (or ten) in the front yard/parking area. Again, because the properties are largely vacant, you'll have people (who don't attend the church) doing burnouts/doughnuts in the parking areas. The church across the street from me has been used several times that I know about to dump/hide stolen cars. Because it's a "public" space that isn't frequently used, you can steal a car, park it there for a couple days (in case there's a gps alarm), then pick it back up & part it out when you know it isn't being tracked.

I had the same views of traffic as you when I bought my place across from a church, and they were incorrect based on my experience. I wouldn't buy another residence near a church & I'd fight tooth and nail any church (of any sect) that wanted to locate anywhere near my residence. Religious buildings don't belong anywhere near residential neighborhoods & honestly, if we're talking about "tolerance" - there's no reason at all that they shouldn't be regulated & zoned just like dirty-book stores.

Last edited by Zippyman; 03-30-2017 at 06:31 AM..
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