Muslims join battle to stop new mosque

More than 200 people, including members of the Muslim community, joined forces at a packed public meeting to fight controversial plans for a new mosque in Walsall. People living near the planned mosque at the former Hertz Rent-A-Car and Autocrash Repair Centre, in St John’s Road, Pleck, were joined by Muslims from the area in opposing the scheme. Residents say dozens more cars would be brought on to an already busy road if the current proposals are given the go-ahead by Walsall Council planners. Representatives of an existing mosque in nearby Woodward Road said there are already enough mosques in the area. A meeting last night at Pleck Working Men’s club, next to the proposed site in Scarborough Road, resolved a committee would be set up to campaign against the application. Pat Etchells, aged 57, from Darlaston Road, said: “There are already parking problems here and we are going to have a red route down the road soon. “I am concerned about access for the emergency services as much as anything, with Walsall Manor just a short distance away.” Sue Hayward, who also lives nearby, said: “It’s not a large piece of land and certainly not big enough for all the cars there will be there.”

Full-text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Lawyer Calls Maryland Town’s Decision to Bar Muslim Group From Gatherings ‘Discriminatory’

A decision barring an American Muslim group from holding large national gatherings in a rural Maryland town has been called discriminatory, a lawyer specializing in religious rights argued. A zoning appeals board in the town of Walkersville voted unanimously to deny the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community permission to use area farmland for religious purposes. The board’s decision is irrational and discriminatory said Roman Storzer, attorney for the group. This conflict has been defined from day one by a desire to keep a Muslim group out of the area said Walkersville Mayor Ralph Whitmore. The Ahmadis had hoped to establish a small mosque on the site for regular use by about 20 nearby families, and hoped to also build two gymnasiums for use during conventions and recreation.