Residents in Midland Park, New Jersey took no issue with a church in their backyard, but on Friday, neighbors were saying they do not want a mosque to replace it. The El-Zahra Islamic Education Foundation is closing in on a deal to turn the Korean Han Ma Um Reformed Church into a mosque.
CBS Some residents do not like the idea at all. Kathy Peppes told CBS 2’s Sloan she was worried for the safety of my family, and my son, and all his friends that play on the street,” Peppes said. Peppes’ home is next to the parking lot for the building. She said she was also concerned about “the noise this might create, because I know that they also pray and chant outdoors.”
But the mosque controversy has gotten ugly on the Facebook page for the Midland Park Press. “I know more about Muslims than you do. They are not nice people. They are mean and ruthless ok. And yes they should all live on an island,” wrote one woman, Ruth Smith. The comment drew a response from another woman, Jeannie Parrish Kimball: “I would be concerned having some of you as neighbors. So much anger and hatred.”
Other comments claimed that a mosque would bring property values down in the neighborhood and made reference to terrorism and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.