Opponents of Proposed Mosque Clash with Islamic Society Organizers

Residents and members of the Eagle Forum raised concerns from traffic to religious extremism about a mosque planned in Brookfield.

Fears that a mosque would bring religious extremists, and even ties to terrorism, surfaced Tuesday when leaders of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee arrived at an Eagle Forum meeting meant to rally Brookfield residents against the proposal.

After the president and executive director of the society introduced themselves, the meeting at the  turned to debate, focused first on traffic concerns, but soon moving to attacks on the religion of Islam.

"My fear is what is being taught there," said a woman who did not want to give her name.

"Our God is not your God," one man said.

"What is it about your religion that draws so much extremism and hatred?" another asked.

Islamic Society of Milwaukee President Ahmad Quereshi and Executive Director Othman Atta answered their questions, alongside three members of the .

"You are our brothers and sisters of humanity," Quereshi said. "We are not the people advocating for hatred and violence. We're here as American citizens."

About 40 people showed up for the meeting, which forced the group outside into a standing circle where Janet Spiewak, president of the Eagle Forum of Wisconsin, first addressed them.

She advised the group to leave religion out of their arguments and focus on the construction of the building and traffic it would bring. Aldermen also have warned opponents to stick to non-religious concerns.

"We're not fighting against a religion," Spiewak said. "Concentrate on the traffic and zoning issues."

The Eagle Forum of Wisconsin's website includes as part of its mission: "We must also be vigilant against external threats from rogue nations and radical Islamists."

Spiewak urged those present to voice their concerns to their aldermen.

"Make yourselves heard," she said. "You have 14 aldermen and a mayor who want to slip something past."

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee already owns the land at 16650 and 16730 W. Pheasant Dr., which is northeast of the intersection of Calhoun Road and North Avenue. But they still have several hurdles to pass before moving forward.

After a tentatively scheduled for May 7, the plans will go before the Plan Commission for discussion and possible action on a required conditional use permit. If approved there, it will go to the full Common Council.


Brookfield resident Carole Wegner said she came to the meeting to learn more about the Islamic Society's proposed mosque, which would be located near her Calhoun Drive home, and especially how much traffic it would bring.

"This is not because it's a mosque," Wegner said. "My concern is that this is already a done deal, and I want to be part of the process."

However, as the debate carried on for more than an hour, concerns about Islam and terrorism dominated the exchanges.

Audrey Hilgendorf, a Brookfield resident, asked about allegations that the Islamic Society of Milwaukee's religious director, Zulifiqar Ali Shah, has been linked to terrorist organizations.

Quereshi said Ali Shah was doing fundraising for Kind Hearts' earthquake relief work in Pakistan, but quit after the organization was accused of having ties to terrorism.

"We are against any kind of extremism," Quereshi said.

Quereshi and Atta encouraged anyone with concerns to tour the Islamic Society in Milwaukee. With requests from those present, Quereshi said they also may drop off copies of the Quran translation they follow to area churches, and hold an open forum for anyone to ask questions about the project and their beliefs.

More information about the Islamic Society and their plans for Brookfield can be found on their website.

Lyle Ruble March 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM
@CowDung....May I remind you of the White Supremacy movement, the KKK, and organizations like Westboro Baptist Church. This only represents a small portion of radicals who claim to be Christians.
asdf March 16, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Watch this with an open mind. Sam Harris on Islam. It's the fundamentals of Islam which are a problem and not Islamic fundamentalism. Educate yourself on the history of Islam. It is a marxist/communist cult from the 7th century in very simplistic terms. Depends on your level of intellect whether you get it or not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWg0IiW4A_k
asdf March 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Watch this by Sam Harris on Islam. It is perfectly Okay to oppose Islam since it is not just a religion but also a political system. Why is it wrong to be opposed to Islam? It is a belief system at the end of the day. Not all belief systems are created equal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWg0IiW4A_k
Lyle Ruble March 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM
@asdf...I don't entirely disagree with Harris, especially his arguments about reason verses religion. However, I would argue that the interpretation of the fundamentals if Islam, Judaism and Christianity evolve and adapt over time. These interpretations of the narratives change overtime. Granted, that many Islamists are still locked in time. However, to compare Islam with extreme communist/Marxism is unjustified. The cultural system of Islam is still based on tribalism. Islam is currently struggling with modernity and there will be many instances of extreme reactionaries. I am not condoning religious extremism of any kind, but I am more tolerant of diverse opinions as long as the diversity does not lead to anti-social behavior.
CowDung March 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Compare the numbers though Lyle. Trying to represent the whole of Christianity with some fringe groups hardly seems fair. Remember, there are Zionist terror groups in the US as well, but most people rightly see them as the exception rather than the rule.
Born Free March 17, 2012 at 07:10 AM
@Lyle, your about as tolerant of diverse opinions as Hitler and Stalin were. Your pretentiousness is a perfect fit for political correctness propaganda. If you don't agree with the opposition that's cool but at least present real honest facts and all the facts rather then stooping to deception, maligning and innuendos. Anyone can pretend to be an intellectual when they need an ego boost to feel good however that does nothing to intigrate truth when all the while hiding behind a false facade to begin with. Obviously because your so intolerant you don't want to know and don't want anyone else to know about the numerous jihadis cells living in the USA actively recruiting and training members daily and sometimes exporting them to do their dirty work after training. You don't even know the definition of Celiphate or what a Sultan-Caliph is. Have you even heard of the Ottoman Empire? Have you heard about Muslim honor killings happening in the USA? Did you know that some of the 9-11 hijackers lived in the USA? Have you heard of the Fort Hood massacre in Texas? Hasan attended the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, in 2001, at the same time as Nawaf al-Hazmi and Hani Hanjour, two of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks. But anyway since you brought up the KKK I guess I need to remind you once again about which Democrate party started and still is the party of the KKK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PzZsEWyAG8&feature=related
Lyle Ruble March 17, 2012 at 04:34 PM
@Born Free....What I am intolerant of are fools, alarmists and conspiratorialists. There is a concerted effort by anti-Islamists to paint all Muslims as being jihadists. The logic goes something like this: If all jihadists are Muslim, then all Muslims are jihadists. Of course this is false as are the majority of conspiracy theories. We, as humans, live our lives based on probabilities. We understand probabilities through learning and experiences. What precisely is the probability that you or someone you know will be harmed by a jihadist is miniscule at most. Therefore, your xenophobia is unjustified. I lived during the 1950s at the height of the "red scare", where people were worried that there was a commie around every corner. This "jihadist scare" is no different and just as unreal. To answer your inquiry concerning my knowledge of Islam, I would speculate that I have a much better understanding of Islam than you do. Need i remind you that it was Islam that preserved the knowledge of the ancient world. The Christian Europeans owe a huge debt of gratitude to Islam for the medical arts, human physiology, astronomy, mathematics, Aristotle, Archimedes, etc. Except for 9/11, which was perpetrated by foreign jihadists, there is only one incidence of terror committed by an American Muslim, the Fort Hood Massacre. All other acts of domestic terrorism have been committed by American non-Muslim citizens. Who should we fear more Islamists or our own radical citizens?
Irish Guy 53213 March 19, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Forget the Crusades. What about Westfield Baptist Church? Timothy McVeigh? Many examples of Christian extremism every day.
lee April 15, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Learn about "islam", it is about the infiltration of other Countries to Dominate. They are taught to do it in any manner that works, even be charming so people don't recognize the danger of the take over.
Hunter Grisham April 15, 2012 at 04:31 PM
not a good idea to have mosques keep popping up all over America..it doesn't matter HOW nice, and HOW peaceful they appear..once their numbers get stronger here, several years from now..things will turn for the worse..eventually.. it GALLS me to see people/Americans griping about Conservative Christians (i don't like them 100% either), but they aren't going around blowing things up, Christianity has matured, and modernized..and Islam has not.. Christianity is not NEAR the threat to America that Islam is.. as i stated..things might seem fine now, but give it a few more decades, once we see as many mosques as we see churches, and more muslims/arabs, have immigrated here, and as immigrants, we give them free money, we give them loans, grants, federal aid, assistance, etc, because they are "religious minorities", all the while ignoring people like ME who are born here, and don't claim a religion, and i work like a dog for nothing..and i don't ask for any more.. these people..muslims, once they gain more power, the tables will turn, and it will be much too late by then, and then people like me, and Pamela Geller, etc..we will be the ones telling all you liberal, bleeding heart useful idiots... "told you so!!!"...and i am NOT a racist or a bigot, it's just common sense..i have friends and even a family member who is a muslim.. i would step in front of ANYONE to intercept a bullet..black, white, spanish, muslim, arab, palestinian, jew.. etc.. but islam..as a whole..is BAD NEWS
bonzo April 16, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Fear mongering is when the democrats say birth control cost $3000.00 a year, no where in America does it cost that. You can get a shot for $75.00 that last 3 months, target it is $9.00 a month, or an implant for $400.00 for 3 years or planned parenthood...free, omg... That is fear mongering trying to decoy issue into something its not. Also, insurance already pays for BC when it is considered medical, not sexual. I hate Obama and all his non transparency and lies, Just wait for the biggest tax hike on all of America in 2013 right after the elections, just pray the US supreme Court strikes down Obummercare! When the Bush tax cuts are gone and they will be gone under Oblowhole and we have pay for all of this stupid, that no one wants health care law and people will die! Go talk to any Doctor or anyone in the medical world 16,000 new codes and Doctors are fleeing their own profession if it happens. It violates so many personal rights and has one Justice said, "THen where does it end, the govt can make you buy anything, even broccoli! Only 35% of the country supports Obuumercare, get a clue!! PLEASE GET RID OF THIS IDIOT IN CHIEF!
Erin LaPorte April 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
I'm interested in defending religious freedom here is Southeastern Wisconsin. We should defend the rights of Muslims ... where is the opposition to these Islamophobes?
Erin LaPorte April 16, 2012 at 01:21 AM
Look me up on Facebook -- I'm willing to get involved in defending religious freedom here is WI...
John Gramm April 16, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Actually, most won't vote for him because of his policies.
Kafir April 16, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Sorry, but my God doesn't say to blow up innocent people and get a thousand STD infected women.
mike April 16, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Those of you supporting Islam thats your choice just educate yourself on the facts of Sharia Lawas well. Your grandchildren could be subjected to it. Europe is seeing this change already. Islam is growing a double the rate of Christians. Islam is already over 1.6billion. Christian is at 1.9billion
lee April 16, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Educate yourself about this religion of death and destruction. A religion that ..only speaks of love to Allah.. not to your neighbor. A religion that not only preaches to kill people but also teaches how to do it. (read Quran 5:33).
lee April 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.
Justin April 16, 2012 at 07:31 PM
@Kafir you need to educate yourself. If you think us Christians haven't killed or blown people up, you are either uneducated, ignorant, stupid or all three.
lee April 17, 2012 at 03:41 PM
lee April 17, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Alfred Kell April 17, 2012 at 06:23 PM
www.jihadwatch.org this is all you know about the Religion of Death.
Alfred Kell April 17, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Lyle Rube, your ignorance is deafening. Have you not heard of the Venona Project?
Lyle Ruble April 17, 2012 at 06:41 PM
@Alfred Kell...What does the Venona Project have to do with anything other than the Soviet's espionage program. I really don't see the relevance.
lee April 18, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Wake up America...it's called infiltrating....... http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/1693
lee April 19, 2012 at 04:43 PM
islam is infiltrating,..so they will be able to control us, more & more in the future. Domination is islams goal, it is a "process" of taking control from within. Build it, they will come.
lee April 20, 2012 at 01:12 AM
short & to the point,....one of many teachings of islam... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOOMBE33-ro
Sad Face April 23, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Have fun saying "I told you so" When your children are living in the intolerant world you've created for them. You are the worst kind of prejudice because you actually believe that you're not. If you have a friend who is Islamic than you are acknowledging the fact that Muslims already live here, building a Mosque isn't changing anything now is it?
lee April 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM
janice borkenhagen August 29, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Lee seems to be one of the very few who makes any sense. Haven't any of the rest of you heard of the Islamic troubles in Dearborn?...or London...or Australia? You'll need to wake up or it will bitch-slap you into awareness when it's too late to protest.


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