The Al-Madany Islamic Center of Norwalk, CT screamed ‘Islamophobia’ even though its proposal for a 27,000 sq. ft. mega mosque with an 80 ft. high minaret was turned down by the zoning commission over issues unrelated to religion. The cry of ‘Islamophobia’ got the Muslim-in-Chief on its side, and forced the zoning commission to change its mind. No doubt, terror-linked CAIR thugs were behind this.
Radical Islam (h/t Susan K ) The proposal was rejected in June. The officials and residents that opposed it never referenced Islam and repeatedly emphasized that religion had nothing to do with it.
Mayor Richard Moccia said, “It was not based on any religious bias.” Commissioner Adam Blank said community centers are not allowed in triple AAA residential zones. Additionally, he said, parking was only allocated for the prayer hall that is 3,000 square feet, leaving the rest without parking. Isabelle Harqgrove of “the “Keep 127 Fillow Street Residential” was concerned about increased traffic and its potential to “fundamentally alter the character of this quiet, New England neighborhood.”
Local resident Brian Dough complained at a public hearing about the already heavy traffic in the morning. “I don’t want to live near a Wal-Mart or a 27,000 square foot building, and I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood does. There’s no room, and this is huge,” he said.
Israel Herskowitz of the Stonegate Condominium Association that opposes the project said, “The reason why it was rejected is it’s too big a development for too small a property … That would be the same if it was a church, or it was a synagogue.”
When the zoning commission ruled against the Center, the Center responded with a lawsuit, accusing it of anti-Muslim bias. Even one supporter of the Center’s proposal, Rabbi Jon Fish of Congregation Beth El, felt it was a dirty tactic.
Herskowitz decried the “backroom politics” that left him and other residents out of the process. “We don’t know what’s in this proposed settlement. It’s frustrating,” he said. His group has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out.
All the Center had to do was claim discrimination for the Justice Department to intimidate local officials on its behalf. If a church didn’t get what it wanted from a zoning commission and accused it of “Christophobia,” would the Justice Department have intervened?
Few words are as powerful as “Islamophobia.” For Islamists uncomfortable with legitimate questions, it moves the conversation to victimization. And, as we now know, it compels the Justice Department to help get your mosque approved.