Edmond, Oklahoma: mosque expansion plan backed by planning committee

EDMOND, Oklahoma — A local pastor stirred up controversy during a hearing about a proposed mosque in Edmond. Pastor Paul Blair spoke out against the mosque, making some serious allegations against the group trying to get it built. The fellowship hall will go up in a residential neighborhood in Edmond. The plan is to expand, demolishing a house and occupy an empty lot.

A proposal to build a Islamic Fellowship Hall in Edmond moves forward, but not without controversy as Pastor Paul Blair with Fairview Baptist Church fires off serious allegations about the group trying to expand their mosque. “The Islamic Society of North America, which is one of the applicants and North American Islamic Trust, which is also an owner of the property were both listed and proven by the United States Federal District Court in the Holy Land Foundation trials to be proven affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood and in particular with Hamas,” said Blair.

Attorney Randel Shadid represents the Islamic Society of Edmond and says it’s no surprise Blair showed up. “If this was any other church, we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” said Shadid. “This is a land use issue. It’s not a ‘We don’t like the Muslim belief issue.’ If we go there then you just throw freedom of religion out the window and we don’t want to go there.” And the Planning Commission agreed. Shadid says as far as the plans goes, everything is in order and Blair’s views aren’t shared by all of Edmond.

The Planning Commission approved the plan in question by a 4 to 1 vote. The Edmond City Council will hear arguments over the proposed mosque and fellowship hall Monday at 7 p.m.

News 9, 10 May 2013