After nine years of planning, construction and some early opposition, the terror-linked Muslim American Society‘s Katy Islamic Center in Houston – the area’s largest mosque by a wide margin – is opening. The center will have a ribbon-cutting celebration at 6 p.m. Saturday at its location, 1800 Baker Road. Upwards of 1,000 paedophile prophet Mohammed worshippers are expected to attend.
Houston Chronicle Though an attached multipurpose hall that will include a gymnasium has not yet been completed, the center is opening its main two-story, 20,000-square-foot masjid, or worship area.
The center’s 11-acre tract was originally purchased in 2006 by a group of community members and then became owned and operated by MAS (Muslim Brotherhood front group ‘Muslim American Society’) in 2008, the year construction began, according to Ebaid.
The year of its inception, the center caught national headlines when Craig Baker, the owner of a next-door granite-and-marble countertop business, began hosting pig races to oppose the center after a dispute.
Baker became upset when he said members of the center called him a liar at a town meeting after he claimed the center told him he should move his business. Baker Road is named after his family, which has lived in the area since 1817.
Knowing the Islamic dietary prohibition against eating pork, Baker chose to assemble the pig races on Fridays – Muslim’s holiest prayer day. At the time, an online page against the mosque also existed, and the center received complaints from the property’s homeowner association about the center’s nighttime lighting.
Houston Chronicle All snout and tail, the pink and brown pigs contentedly rooting in the wire pen behind Craig Baker‘s stone shop seem piggishly comic. They’re racing pigs, after all, and that’s got to be funny.
These pigs are subtle weapons, here to show the new neighbors — the Katy Islamic Association — they aren’t welcome. Tension has been growing in this west Harris County community after the Muslim group announced it had purchased 11 acres south of Interstate 10 to build a mosque, school, community center and athletic facilities.
Hard feelings started when Baker met association officials, who, he said, advised him he should move his stone shop. “They told me it was time for my family to pack up,” said Baker, whose family has occupied its land since the early 1800s. “They said a mosque and a marble shop didn’t go too good together.”
Angered by the perceived insult and aware of Islamic dietary laws banning pork consumption, Baker responded by announcing he would stage weekly pig races on his Muslim neighbors’ holiest day of prayer.
Critics raised concerns about traffic congestion, flooding, possible adverse impact on property values and the “unknown.”
“One of our concerns is what the mosque will look like,” said Karen Olson, president of the 120-family Windsor Park Estates Neighborhood Association. ” … We look at mosques in other parts of town and they have gold domes. They’re big white structures that stand out. We’re concerned about what we can do as a community to get a development that fits in and doesn’t ruin things.” (And now you’ve got a gigantic yellow mosquetrosity. Let the pig races begin)
According to Ebaid, the worship area in the center, which he said has cost about $5 million in donations to build so far, will serve anywhere from 500-1,000 people during the upcoming worship month of Ramadan. The center is expecting a crowd of between 500 and 1,000 for its opening on Saturday.
The growing number of Muslims in Katy desired a larger worship space, said Ahmed Shennawy, an active attendee at the center who moved to Katy in 2011 specifically to be closer to the center.
“This center has to serve the growing (Muslim) community and has to be able to accommodate the number of Muslims in this area,” Shennawy said. “As the Muslim community grows, the center grows, too. Shenway said the next largest mosque in Katy is less than half the size of the new center. He said when the attached multipurpose hall is complete, the center will be one of the largest in Houston and able to accommodate more than 2,000 people in its entire space.