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ONLY ON 3: Plan for Wilmington mosque faces opposition from neighbors

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- An office building in Wilmington might be turned into a new mosque, but the idea has some neighbors concerned.

The Islamic community is growing in Wilmington and now looking for more space. They found an empty office building on Rankin Street, but rezoning is not the only obstacle they have run into.

"We're growing just like the larger community," said Musa Agil, chariman of the Islamic Center of Myrtle Grove. "They are growing, and they need to build new churches and synagogues everywhere, and we are, too."

Agil says that is why they want to turn a vacant office building at 16th and Rankin streets into a mosque. The building is nestled right in the middle of the historic district.

"We hear everything," a concerned neighbor said. "Just the thought of 4:30 in the morning hearing doors slamming."

The homeowner, who did not want to be identified, says early-morning prayers at the mosque are not the only thing she is worried about. In order to use this space the islamic learning center has to get a conditional district rezoning petition approved. This will change the use of the building from an "office" to a "religious institution."

"We are all just too worried about the loss of property value, and the amount of people it's going to bring into the neighborhood," the woman said. "This neighborhood isn't built for an extra thousand people."

Agil does not think the location of any kind of religious organization should be an issue.

"The American people are very understanding people, and they're very educated, intelligent people. They practice their religious right every day," he said. "I don't think they would want to stop somebody from practicing his or her right."

The planning commission will meet July 9 at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers to consider rezoning the property. They want to hear from anyone who has any objections or concerns.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Islamic Learning Center

This country was founded on religious freedom. If we can not offer that to all people and all religions, then we are not the great nation our forefathers founded. People fear what they do not understand. All Muslims are not terrorists nor are all terrorists Muslim. Just because a person claims to be something does not mean it's true. If the people would educate themselves, they would see that Islam is actually a peaceful religion and the Muslims I have encountered are more pious and respectful than any other people I have ever met. I would much rather know I had a house of prayer in my neighborhood and know the sounds I hear at 4:30am were people praying as opposed to some of the sounds of crime and local gang violence of late. Only education will eradicate fear and only love can defeat hatred.

Not all Germans were Nazis either!

But that didn't prevent the Nazi's from committing their genocide while the peaceful majority stood to the side and watched as millions were murdered. The Japanese were a peaceful people, but the peaceful majority did nothing to stop the Japanese murders of the Chinese and others around the globe. The Russians were a peaceful lot, but the peaceful majority did NOTHING to stop Stalin from murdering countless millions!

So explain to me what YOU think needs to be done to to stop the radical Muslims from committing cold-blooded murder against innocent people. That certainly isn't going to get done by "education". The radicals don't care how much you know. It isn't going to be done by giving "respect" to that religion, because the radical murderers have no respect for anything. In fact, if the "peaceful majority" would take issue with the radicals and do something about it, there's step No 1. Not a single one of them has stood up and said one single word....not ONE!

Religious freedom does not mean the "freedom to kill" because of your religion in no way form or fashion. The hatred as you term it comes from those that project death to innocent people because of their commitment to Allah. We still have a difficult time thinking it is okay to beat a woman to near death because she drives a car or shows a portion of her skin. Shariah law is prevalent in weak societies that never established any real form of freedoms in the first place. Shariah law is nothing other than extreme control and manipulation, the very opposite of freedom. This is America and we formed it so that we didn't have to be like the others on this planet and we certainly aren't giving it up yet!

So, from where I sit and what I read of your posting, until the "peaceful majority" of Muslims AND IT'S LEADERS stand up to denounce the radicals and their violence, they're all in the same category. You can take your PC based bag of horse-sludge and use it for a pillow in an Iraqi desert! It is less than worthless here!

Very Well Said

Your approach is the only sensible one that I have read in a long while.

A couple of thoughts ...

- Your initial analogy is flawed. In Germany, Japan, etc., the radical elements who perpetuated those heinous acts were in control of those countries. Radical Muslims are neither in control of America nor are they in control of the American Muslim population.

- Sharia law has no legal standing in America and American Muslims do not have the option to legally practice it here even if they wanted to. All of your comments addressing elements of this have no relevance to what's happening in Wilmington.

- To say that not one moderate Muslim has stood up and said one single word of disapproval concerning radical Muslim behavior is completely false. Although many have essentially remained far too quiet, many others have addressed this issue worldwide. You're smart enough to have researched this by now, so why haven't you?

- We didn't form America so that "we didn't have to be like the others on this planet". America was founded on the principals of respecting each others rights as fellow members a democratic society. Sure, we screw that up constantly, but that's still what America was founded on, not what you made up.

- You have every right from where "you sit" to say "they're all in the same category". You're saying it will remain a factually incorrect statement regardless of how many time you say it. Why? Because it is untrue.

- While you have every right to see things from where you sit, you do not have the right to act as if you speak for everyone by saying things like another American's opinion "is less than worthless here". That is simply your own individual opinion and you do not have the right to claim you speak for anyone other than yourself. To say otherwise is to again be factually incorrect. It is also disrespectful of the many others in this country who have as much right to their opinion as you do to yours.

Oh, one more thing: Phrases like "You can take your PC based bag of horse-sludge and use it for a pillow in an Iraqi desert!" are totally child-like, and instead of bolstering your opinions, make you appear less than capable of having a mature position on this subject. I'm just guessing here, but I doubt that was your original intention.

Have a nice day.

We the People

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Memories in this town are

Memories in this town are short. Two and a half years ago, there was an armed robbery at the Wrightsville Country Store where the clerk shot the perpetrator. The owner of the store said that he should have gone ahead and killed the thug. After that incident, the store owner gave his employees guns and payed for them to get training. The name of that store owner is Musa Agil. Back then he was praised for his actions, but now he is being condemned because he wants a place to practice his religion.

Saying that all Muslims support the practice of extremists is like saying that all Catholic Priests are child molesters or saying that all Baptist churches are like Westboro. Mr. Agil and the congregation with which he associates, are entitled to the same freedom of religion as the rest of us.

The comments on this story are horrible.

As a Muslim in the Wilmington community, and have lived here all of my life, I am very disgusted to know that some of you people think like this. This is the problem with us as individuals. No one is trying to corrupt wilmington. "Ooooh, BEWARE!!!!" Yea, okay. No one is going to get woken up by early calls for prayer. It is NOT something you hear that is blasted by a loud speaker outside. The only time there is a large number of Muslims at the mosque is usually on Fridays at noon and during Ramadan in the evenings. Worried about the decrease in property values because of the mosque? We are located on Wrightsville Avenue in a predominantly white neighborhood. Property sales definitely haven't gone down there. So why would they go down somewhere that's literally 2 seconds away from Rankin, Red Cross, etc. Where property value is down anyway because it's what we call "the projects." I mean it's 2 seconds one way to an area where predominantly African American people reside, and 2 seconds the other way is where predominantly white people reside. It just seems like someone just wants to complain and doesn't want us there. And that's fine. Just don't make up "excuses" as to why we shouldn't turn the space that's been abandoned for a while now into a mosque. We are normal people just like the next. Just because we choose to worship differently than you doesn't mean you need to be intolerant of other people's beliefs. I also can't believe someone would say that the Muslims you need to be worried about are the ones who ACTUALLY practice their faith. We don't condone violence of any kind and we don't promote extremism of any kind. Any "Muslim" that does is NOT Muslim. If someone says, "Oh, you should find a Muslim friend," it's just to show you that we are NORMAL. I have friends that are Jewish, Christian, Catholic, etc. Just because we have different faiths and may disagree on certain things doesn't mean I'm going to disrespect them and try and isolate them from the rest of society. A lot of you people don't know how many feelings you may hurt and a lot of you may not care. And if you don't then so be it; but if it's meant to be then it was meant to be. If it's not, then it's not. Don't be so self centered and heartless. Don't be so quick to categorize and put a stereotype on EVERY Muslim because we are NOT all the same. And if you don't want to have a Muslim as a "friend" and if you don't want to at least give it a try and invite in others with open arms, then you'll NEVER know we're all not the same. Being angry, cold, disrespectful, and rude hardens the heart. Where has love and respect gone? Is it only given to your family and loved ones? Everyone needs love and respect. It can be the smallest thing that makes someone's day. It starts with us first, whether I am Muslim or not. If we don't try to change and better ourselves, how can we help to change and better the people around us?

I have never met a rude or hateful Muslim

On the other hand I have seen and experienced first hand 58 years of Christian hate, bigotry and violence.

"Everyone needs love and

"Everyone needs love and respect."

Well said. Try saying that to the Muslim Majority in Iran, Egypt, and Nigeria, who are killing people, just for being Christian.

peace

I just think that every religion has serious flaws and
will always have radicals that upset the majority.
I was raised Catholic in Whites- ville America but after
living and traveling in different parts of the world I can
truly say that most people just want peace.
The US govt and Christians are not perfect little white
angels on this world stage, so any sort of righteousness
on your part is way out of order.
There is too much history that you are ignoring or just
forgot to read about.
I think it's time for Wilmington to catch up with the rest of the
country and start adding some new religions, the Baptist
thing is so last century. We need to shift forward 20 years, fast.
Open your minds people, open your minds.

I'm not even religouse

I'm not even religouse myself but u know if this was some kind of christian or hebrew or even boodist or hindoo place of worship going up them liberals would be foaming at the gizzard abot religouse tyranny but b/c it's a muslin thing they say "oh that's good we need more diversity in da community" bunch of hippocritical dingbat's!!!

New Mosque

This building as sat empty for years and now someone has found a use for it neighbors which may not be to their liking now worry about property values. The hatred that is spewing out in some of these comments says something about the closed minded people of this city. Across the street from this empty building sits the Jewish, Bellevue and Pine Forest Cemeteries. One block away sits the Church of Scientology. Four to five blocks away sits Temple Baptist Church and three blocks sit St. Paul's Episcopal Church so churches in the area shouldn't be too much of a problem. Adding another place of worship to the neighborhood shouldn't be too much of a problem unless it's the hatred of people who practice Islam is the issue. True followers of Islam pray more than Christians do. All religions have fanatics and to categorizes these people before they even move into the neighborhood is a shame and disgrace. Get to know these people before you start worrying about them blowing up your neighborhood. I've heard the call of noon prayers while in Turkey and it was done decent and in order. Stop the fear mongering!

It takes a liberal...

Only a bunch of stark raving mad liberals could turn this into an attack against Christianity. Last time I checked any of the news outlets, Christians were not beheading people for disagreeing with them. They also weren't making women cover themselves or limiting their rights in any way.

Yes, in this country we have freedom of religion as provided for in the Constitution. Islam is a much more fanatical animal than just a bunch of Baptists going to church on Sunday and Wednesday.

Save this crap about "you should have a Moslem friend". The only Moslem who doesn't practice the tenets of Islam is a non-practicing Moslem. The so-called radical Moslems are your standard followers of that faith.

HAHAHA!

I am just here to laugh at the bigotry.

Really, Billy???

You think Muslims are the only fanatical religion? You also claim that all Muslims are terrorists? Since 9/11 there have been more terrorist acts committed by Christian Fanatics in the U.S. than Muslim Fanatics. But your point is well made. You are all for freedom of religion, as long as that religion is some form of Christianity.

Really, Fleabagger???

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists ARE Muslim. Facts please on your 9/11 comment. Did you forget to take your meds? Your point is not well made. I'll start a list and you the other and we'll compare. 1) Nidal Malik Hasan - 13 killed, 30 wounded. 2) Tamerlan Tsarnaev - 3 killed, 264 wounded. 3) John Allen Muhammad - 10 killed, 3 wounded. 4)Abdulhakim Muhammed - 1 killed, 1 wounded. Ok, moonbat, now you start.

Ignorance.

I made you a list of Christian terrorists.

1. Westboro Baptist Church
2. Timothy McVeigh
3. Terry Nichols
4. Frank Silva Roque
5. Scott Roeder
6. Jim David Adkisson
7. Paul Jennings Hill
8. Eric Rudolph
9. James Charles Kopp
10. Joseph Stack

I can't blame you for parrotting fox news. But the lease you could do is come independent research; you along with a huge number of republican posters have made a mockery of Christianity and intelligence. From misspelling Muslim to assuming all Muslims are terrorist.

This nation was built on religious freedoms. Lets keep it that way.

Christopher...

Christopher, let us start off first, by getting a few things straight. Are you paying attention? Your list, although tragic, doesn't mean squat in the conversation. Yes, there are nut jobs in every religion, but my response was to Guest000000's quote, "Since 9/11 there have been more terrorist acts committed by Christian Fanatics in the U.S. than Muslim Fanatics". Can you not comprehend since 9/11? Your independent research couldn't figure that out? Yep, I'm the one who is ignorant. My list is accurate, very tragic, and is just a start. Now, let us get to the rest of your very generalized comments. I can't remember the last time I watched faux news or any of the other bs news channels. They ALL serve their masters, haven't you figured that out yet? I am not republican and have not made "a mockery of Christianity and intelligence". If anything, you have made a mockery of intelligence. Also, please show me where I have misspelled Muslim. If you are trying to lump me in with your generalizations of who you think I am and your "But the lease you could do is come independent research", you fail! I can't blame you for being an idiot. Lets keep it that way.

how many

How many did that registered republican, Timothy McVeigh, kill? I don't remember him being a Muslim.

I guess...

I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. That was about 6 1/2 years before 9/11, besides McVeigh wasn't a religious fanatic.

you're right

You're right. He wasn't a religious fanatic; he was a republican fanatic that loved guns, the constitution and killing people.

I know this is...

I know this is hard for you to do, b/c you beat the same drum everyday, stay on topic.

Know Thy Enemy

mUslim

Wilmington Observer

Not a liberal, but I disagree with much of what you posted.

Registered independent voter here (a few clicks to the right of center), and a Christian, but I don't feel threatened by this.

While I agree that there seems to be far too many radical practicing Islamists these days, it still is unfair to paint all Moslems with that same broad brush. The same thing goes for Christians. Those crazy extreme Baptists who were desecrating the funerals of our fallen servicemen were definitely radical. The Roman Catholic church limits the rights of women by denying them any true leadership roles in their hierarchy. Yea, I know that's not beheading someone, but only a few radical fools have done that. The basic tenants of Islam, contrary to your opinion, do not condone that kind of behavior.

It's possible to be a practicing Moslem and still be a good American. To say otherwise is to condone the mentality one would find in a witch hunt, and as a practicing Christian, I would have to say that that's just wrong.

Where is it???

Where's the support from the Right Wingers? This is a Religious Freedom issue, correct? Seems like you all should be running to support this mosque. If a neighborhood was complaining about a Christian Church moving in, we'd have 85 comments about how this country was founded on religious freedom, yadda yadda yadda, War on Christmas, yadda yadda yadda, Christian Persecution, yadda yadda yadda, ad nauseum.

Here's a "right winger" for ya!

And I'll speak for a great majority when I say this. NONE of us, right or left will EVER welcome ANY religion that has already committed and promises to commit more violent devastation of our country, our freedom, our innocent people and our property based on the premise of their "religion". THAT Guest000000 brain cells is the bottom line and has absolutely ZERO to do with religious freedom in any sense of anyones imagination.

Now lay your crack pipe down for a few days and allow your tiny little brain to re-hydrate before you wake up in the Oaks strapped to a gurney!

I like to pretend the

I like to pretend the crusades never happened too. I also like to pretend that an entire religion is responsible for inhumane atrocities of a terrorist group. Because FOX NEWS said it.

Christianity is far from innocent. Refrain from the pointless insults as it shows your ignorance.

Although the arrogance in your post is very amusing.

You should brush up on your history!

The crusades ended in 1292. That's 722 years ago. Christians don't act in that manner anymore, the Fanatical Muslims still do. Ever wonder why most of today's advanced mathematics originated in the middle east, yet those people are still living in mud huts and throwing rocks at each other just like they did over 2000 years ago? Here's a clue. The leaders of the middle east don't want their people to have anything, no education, no money, no opportunity, no modern conveniences...nothing. All they give them is religion and they pump it through them like air. It's all they have. However, the smartphone and the internet are changing things for them. Now they see what the rest of the world has and how they live and they want some too! This is the reason for all of the uprisings in Egypt and Syria. There's your history lesson for the day. Try picking up a book and reading for a change!

I think Heimie makes an excellent point and the "arrogance" as you call it is knowledge, which you seem to lack. That my friend, is the definition of "ignorance" in itself.

Heimie Schmeimie...

That rant was extra idiotic, even by your pitiful standards. Classifying all Muslims as terrorists is like saying all Christian beliefs are the same as Westboro Baptist's. There have been lots of attacks on innocent people by right wing Christians. The bottom line is you and your ilk are all for religious freedom as long as that religion is some form of Christianity.