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Brookfield Mosque Project Advances Despite Fear After Sikh Shooting

Brookfield resident Mushir Hassan said the Muslim community is worried about the project's security but plans to begin construction on a new mosque in September.

When Wade Page stepped into the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Aug. 5 and opened fire on unsuspecting worshippers, area Sikhs weren't the only ones who felt their security shattered. 

The shooting also struck close to home for local Muslims, especially with the Islamic Society of Milwaukee preparing to build a new mosque in Brookfield, said Brookfield resident Mushir Hassan, secretary on the society's board of directors.

"We were definitely shaken as a community," Hassan said. "We are friends with Sikhs and first of all, we cry for what they are going through.

"Secondly, the xenophobia and harsh rhetoric we've seen makes us concerned from a security standpoint."

Organizers of the mosque project, located at 16650 and 16730 W. Pheasant Dr., from some Brookfield and area residents on religious grounds. Although city officials continually said for approving the mosque and many residents stuck to concerns like traffic and noise, others plainly said they feared the presence of Islam in their community. 

Hassan, who has represented the Islamic Society of Milwaukee on the mosque development, said those kinds of remarks make him question the safety of the project. 

"Yes, we're concerned about our security," Hassan said. "Yes, we're concerned during the construction about the security of the mosque. The day after the Sikh shooting, a mosque in Missouri was burned to the ground. We have to take steps to say this is not right."

At a in April, residents voiced concerns that the mosque would be a step toward establishing sharia law, or even breeding terrorism. 

Hassan has tried to assuage these concerns with  explaining the role of sharia law and the tenets of Islam, but he acknowledges that he can't reach everyone — especially someone who might turn to violence. 

"Unfortunately, that degree of hatred is very difficult to overcome," he said. "Our job as Americans is to put down people espousing fear. We have to balance concerns of freedom of speech and not spreading hatred."

Project Continues with Community Support

Despite the occasional opponent, Hassan said Brookfield residents have been overwhelmingly supportive of the project. 

"The vast majority have just been so happy and proud that our community is able to approve this because it reflects so well on the community and its appreciation for diversity," Hassan said. 

In one fundraising dinner, Hassan said the Islamic Society of Milwaukee raised $700,000 for the mosque project, with some money coming from non-Muslims. Planning to fundraise the entire cost of the project, Hassan said they hope to raise about $1 million more in donations over the next 18 months.

"People were very happy to see that the city had approved the process," Hassan said. "Once we had Common Council approval people were very excited and very generous."

The group is finalizing its building permit and bidding contractors, looking to break ground in September and open in late spring or early summer of 2013. 

Johnny Paycheck August 27, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Wait until the Brookfield supporters see what patrolling this place does to the police services budget!
Scott Berg August 28, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Nothing has been decided yet, but the standard practice is for the builder to hire private security and phone the police only for suspicious activity. That's pretty much what happens with, for example, the average home burglary. By the way, are you even a Brookfield taxpayer?
Michael August 28, 2012 at 05:06 AM
So funny, an anti-Islamophobe turns phobic himself. To Mr. Hassan: hands off the first Amendment, please. Mr. Hassan generally says Sharia is only for a Muslims personal life, i.e. how to do your 401K, but he's either not honest or does not know that sharia is more. ISM says that "The Qur'an addresses many other issues including worship, morality, ethics, guidelines for a just society, as well as freedom and accountability." Classical Islamic jurisprudence includes how you pray, how to fast, zakat, trade, inheritance, marriage, divorce, and it also includes justice, warfare, spoils of battle, retaliation for crimes, apostasy, jihad, non-Muslim subjects of the Islamic state, judge and court, court claims, caliphate. That is a complete system for a society - religion, politics, laws. It is what the prophet install, Allah's law for Arabia and then for the whole world. The personal-only sharia approach is a half-truth; The US Commission of International Religious Freedom says "Out of 44 predominantly Muslim countries, 15 constitutions provide for Islamic law, principles, or jurisprudence as a source of, or limitation on, general legislation (these include countries that are declared Islamic states and/or have declared Islam the religion of the state)”. That said with a majority Muslim population we have in the USA a 1 to 3 chance to get some form of Islamic jurisprudence into our constitution and into our laws of the land. I truly do not like these prospects.
bob September 12, 2012 at 03:16 AM
I see they are building it under the guise of an "assisted living center" now. ... What are they afraid of. By the way, I did see the latest beheading of a christian in Egypt.. great stuff. good for the goose ?
Scott Berg September 12, 2012 at 03:44 AM
"bob" - No, that's completely wrong. The construction to the north of the tracks IS an assisted living center from the Applewood Corp. If you were to look at the spot where the mosque is actually planned to be built, you would see there is no change. The ISM is fund raising and I have not heard of a specific ground breaking data. If you followed Brookfield news as closely as you follow Egyptian news, you would know that.
Born Free February 15, 2013 at 09:50 PM
A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshiper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises. http://mappingsharia.com/

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