The planning commission of Sterling Heights, Michigan voted on Thursday to deny a building permit for the construction of a new mosque in the Detroit suburb. When the vote was announced, the reaction of the crowd was unmistakable.
As reported by WXYZ in Detroit, city hall was filled to capacity with 240 people anxiously awaiting the results. When the 9-0 vote was announced, the hall erupted in applause, with hundreds more outside chanting “No more mosques” and “God Bless America.”
While the fight centered around the size of the planned mosque - 20,500 square feet - and it's location in a residential area, some residents feared it would potentially be linked to extremism. One resident said:
“This doesn't seem like Sterling Heights. I feel like I'm in Baghdad.”
Mosque leaders said they offered to change the size and design of the project, to no avail.
Incidentally, nearby Dearborn, with a population of nearly 100,000, has the largest concentration of Muslims in the United States - nearly 30% of its residents.