VIA| When a Michigan town planning commission voted unanimously to deny a permit to erect a large mosque, public demonstration soon followed. The majority of those who showed up to hear last week’s decision, though, supported the commissioners.
Many living in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights noted the increased Islamic presence in the region. The demographic shift in Michigan is unmistakable, with the Muslim population swelling to as high as 30 percent in cities like Dearborn.
Prior to the commission’s vote, a number of residents expressed their concern with building the 20,500-square-foot facility, specifically in its proposed residential location. Several opponents explained that their children are living in fear due to the news coverage of Islamic terror attacks, explaining that an increased Muslim presence in their neighborhood would only add to their stress.
“You guys are forcing us out of this neighborhood,” one resident stated.
Many in the packed house applauded when another mosque opponent made it clear such a suspicious facility is not welcome in the community.
“A facility to store weapons, training, whatever it is,” he said, “—we do not need this in our city. Pick another one.”
As soon as the 9-0 vote against issuing the permit was announced, a throng of locals began cheering outside of city hall.
BREAKING: Sterling Heights Planning Commission rejects Mosque proposal. Crowd inside and outside City Hall erupts pic.twitter.com/5QwOMqtUR4
— Randy Wimbley (@RandyWFOX2) September 11, 2015