For years, Hope United Church of Christ advertised on its front lawn plans to build a church on 14 acres it owned just southwest of Naperville, and the minister there says he never heard so much as a peep of displeasure. But now that the church wants to sell the property to a Muslim group, angry protests have erupted.
Chicago Tribune This time around the Islamic Center of Naperville wants to buy the land and someday build a mosque there, said HOPE’s pastor, the Rev. Timoth Sylvia. In his view, that’s the difference. (DING DING DING. You get the prize)
“This display of true ignorance … breaks my heart, raises my concern and honestly angers me,” Sylvia wrote to parishioners and friends earlier this week. “The Islamic Center of Naperville has had to fight so hard for all that they have, and this next chapter of their story appears as if it may play out just as difficult as the others.” (Well, boo fricken hoo)
Will County records indicate an Islamic religious studies center is being considered in unincorporated land near Aurora, but no formal proposals have been submitted. The Islamic Center says it wants to hold gatherings on the property and use the home located there as an office — just as HOPE United has done in the past.
“I’d prefer a trailer park,” said Richard Wylie, a nearby resident. “It would be a lower frequency of people coming and going.” Tim Dever, another resident, doubted that the Muslim group is “sincere in their true intent for the property. I think we should require full detailed plans and full intent before annexing anything.” Brad Knell, who also lives near the property, said the proposed annexation is a “Trojan horse” for eventually building a large structure. “The annexation is going to cost money,” Knell said, “and it is going to cost us all money.”
Sylvia said he wasn’t surprised when large handwritten signs started popping up on church property warning passersby to “Vote No to Mosque on 248.” But one sign that Sylvia said made a derogatory reference to Muslim headscarves still shocked him, he said Thursday. (Headbags? Why is that derogatory, that’s what they are?)
If recent Muslim population projections are an indication, it’s reasonable to expect more proposals for Islamic prayer centers, experts say. About 120 mosques exist in the Chicago area, according to the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. (Then you don’t need anymore. SCRAM!)