The Islamic Center of Florida located in Pompano Beach, Fl recently faced some resistance when they tried to get permission to build a larger structer. The Islamically Center narrowly received permission to build but I almost wish that it hadn't. It would have been a serious wake-up call to encourage Muslims to take better care and greater interest in the communities where we live.
Commissioner Pat Larkins was one of the most outspoken critics of a new mosque. Larkins, who is black, said there is a perception in the neighborhood he represents that Muslims do not give back to the community.
"I am not opposed to constructing the facility," Larkins said. "I am opposed to the conduct of the Muslim business community in our neighborhood."
Larkins drew applause from those in attendance at Tuesday's City Hall meeting when he said there was no need for the mosque in a predominantly black neighborhood.
His comments raised furor among the Muslim community when he was quoted by The South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying Muslims "don't contribute a nickel to any cause in terms of improving the community." He went on to say "most black folks see them as people that come in to rape the community and go away."
Larkins said he is opposed to the way some Muslim business owners operate and treat blacks.
"I think it's a shame when I see beer and wine sold by people who claim that they preach Islam at 4 o'clock in the morning in my community," Larkins said.
Sam Smith, who lives in the neighborhood where the mosque is supposed to be built, agrees with Larkins.
"The ones that own the stores, they're very disrespectful to our kids," Smith said. "…They think all the kids here are trying to steal."
But Areeb Naseer, a member of the Council of American Islamic Relations, objected to Larkins' comments, saying that the decision to allow a new mosque in the neighborhood should not be based on perceptions