MICHIGAN: Plans to turn a school into an Islamic Indoctrination Center face stiff opposition from residents

WEST BLOOMFIELD: Proposed Islamic Center has raised concerns over increased traffic, aesthetics, noise pollution, the risk of terrorist associations….and now, corruption among officials.

Arab American News  This affluent Detroit suburb prides itself on its religious diversity, with 49 houses of worship within its 32 square miles, including at least 11 Jewish synagogues and 15 Protestant or Catholic churches…but no mosques. (Aren’t there way too many mosques all over Michigan as it is?)

Hundreds packed the West Bloomfield Township Hall for a joint meeting Tuesday held by the city’s planning commission and wetland review board to hear whether the Islamic Cultural Association’s (ICA) request to construct a storm water management system with a direct discharge to the Franklin Branch of the Rouge River, as part of its rennovation of Eagle Elementary School would be approved.

The ICA purchased the school which was owned by the Farmington Public School District last year for $1.1 million to build the Muslim Cultural Center.  Since then controversy surrounding the sale has only escalated, and those opposing plans for the new project have taken a tougher stance to prevent it from reaching the final phase of completion.

Thomas More Law Center – A stunning new development has come to light surrounding allegations of public corruption over the sale of Farmington Public Schools (FPS) property to the Islamic Cultural Association (ICA). On Wednesday, August 8th, Reverend Bruce D. Burwell, Senior Pastor of Light of the World Christian Center in West Bloomfield, read aloud a prepared statement on how the person in charge of FPS properties told him the property was not for sale when he expressed an interest in purchasing it for his church.  FPS subsequently sold the vacant Eagle Elementary school  property to the Islamic Cultural Association.

Pastor Burwell told the audience “how odd it was that in these bad economic times that the Farmington Hills School District would not be jumping at the chance to sell one of their buildings to an interested buyer” and “how odd it was that if they were seriously trying to sell the building, why did they not have a for sale sign up.”  He concluded his remarks by saying that “there is no doubt in my mind that something is going on.” CIick here to read entire statement

On Aug. 8 the ICA held a neighborhood meeting to discuss plans for the new facility, around 50 people attended including design and engineering teams.  A forum was held in opposition to the meeting here that hundreds attended. The opposition meeting was held in collaboration with the Thomas More Law Center and founders of the group Care4Eagle, which was formed in response to the sale of the school to the ICA.

The meeting was a legal briefing discussing the legitimacy of a lawsuit filed by two residents who oppose the sale. The Oakland County Circuit Court refused to hear the lawsuit, claiming it had no standing. It’s pending in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The Thomas More Law Center sent a request to Michigan Attotney General Bill Schuette asking for his office to investigate the school.

The request filed with the Attorney General’s office claims two board members of the Farmington Public School District accepted bribes before the sale of the school was authorized. There are also allegations that  board members accpeted financial contributions for their re-election campaigns from people who’re connected to the ICA.

Attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center also say the baord violated the Open Meetings Act by discussing details about the sale behind closed doors. The superintendent of FPS denies such claims.

“If the school wasn’t being turned into a Islamic center we know there wouldn’t be this many people here complaining about it,” (You can say THAT again) said Michigan Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Network Director Randy Block who was one of the peacful protesters who came to support the Muslim community at the meeting.

Blockhead held up a sign that read: “Muslims Are PEOPLE, Stand on the Side of Love! We stand on the Side of Love, WILL YOU?” Other peaceful protesters held up a large sign that read: Standing on The Side of Love. Meanwhile one woman in the audience passed a note around that read,”Do not engage the pro-Muslim protesters outside the hallway. Do not provoke.” (if you don’t want to get killed)

Blockhead says he and other demonstrators were simply trying to make a statement that all people, Muslims, Christians and Jews deserve to have their own religious freedom. (Christians and Jews have NO religious freedom in Muslim countries) While people from different groups came to support the ICA such as the Far Left Wing Pro-Palestinian Jewish group, Jewish Voice for Peace, an overwhelming majority of the crowd was against the project.

The planning commission and wetland board didn’t reach a decision, instead on Sep. 9 there will be a site visit at noon open to the public where the applicants will take questions from the wetland board regarding the construction of a storm water management system.

The meeting was so crowded guests sat stood outside the meeting room, some sat on the floor while others watched from a television screen in a separate room. Many believe the whole situation is part of the ongoing historic movement in the country occuring where Muslims are being prevented from building their own houses of worship, and centers because of the anti-Muslim sentiment in the country. (Ya think? Maybe there’s a good reason people don’t want their sworn enemies in their own backyards)

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