Nov 18 2010
New Phoenix church being built with a domed roof causes panic among residents who fear it is a mosque.
Atlantic WireSome vigilant citizens in Phoenix, Arizona are up in arms over a domed church that they wrongly believe to be a mosque.
The large building, still under construction along a busy interstate, is actually a nondenominational church. The backlash has been severe enough that the church’s leaders have hung a giant banner over the dome: “IF YOU THINK DIFFERENT YOU ARE WRONG — WE ARE BUILDING A CHRISTIAN HOUSE OF WORSHIP.” The incident suggests that the widespread backlash against Muslim-American centers, which began this summer in reaction to the planned Cordoba House in New York, may still not have fully receded.
“I have nothing against Islamic people,” Carlos Montemayor, the pastor of the church, said in a phone interview. But local commentary had been growing, saying that the building was a mosque and an investigation should be launched into the church. He put the sign up to stop the comments. “They should be happy that we are putting something beautiful by the freeway, but they’re not,” he said.