A local politician is seeking to prevent the Ahmadiyya Community USA from building a mosque and recreation center on 224 acres of farmland at Walkersville, Maryland. Chad Weddle, a lawyer and a town commissioner, has proposed a zoning amendment that would prevent the construction of places of worship on land zoned for agriculture there. “Agriculture shouldn’t have buildings on it,” Weddle said.
Walkersville, 56 miles northwest of Washington, has 5,800 residents – 90 percent white and mostly dairy farmers. Many members of the community are opposing the group’s plans to build. Some residents are “apprehensive of Muslims”, Mayor Ralph Whitmore says. “Tensions are still there. We have a lot of people here who haven’t forgotten 9/11”. Whitmore says people who have loved ones fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have reservations about Muslims in the community. “We’re not a very diverse community.”