Religious discussion not allowed at public hearing regarding mosque

BROOKFIELD -- The proposed mosque in Brookfield was the topic of another meeting Wednesday evening, May 2nd. This time, discussing religion was not allowed.

The Islamic Society of Milwaukee hopes to build a mosque off Calhoun Road, but the plan has not been without some controversy. Earlier this year the Brookfield Common Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the mosque. That hearing is scheduled for Monday, May 7th.

Leading up to the public hearing, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee held two informational sessions - one on Wednesday, May 2nd and the first on April 23rd, to answer questions. At these meetings, there were individuals both for and against building the mosque, and information was exchanged, and opinions were formed.

"I moved to Brookfield because of the progressive nature of the city and as I said earlier, this should be a non issue," one man said Wednesday.

The group looking to build the mosque says they have been encouraged by recent offerings of support by many, including influential Cardinal Timothy Dolan. "I would defend the right to do it," Cardinal Dolan said during a recent interview with FOX6 News. "It was nice to see the stature of someone like Cardinal Dolan come out and offer support," Dr. Mushir Hassan with the Islamic Society said.

Some at the meeting said they still worry about an Islamic house of worship in their backyard. "This isn't a religious freedom issue, it's an ideology, and what we don't like about the ideology is they want to subvert our constitution. I can't stop it. Only the Lord Jesus can now. If that's the way he wants it, then that's the way life is, and that's okay," Charlie Cook said.

At Wednesday's meeting, officials could only consider zoning issues like parking and traffic. "The city's role here is to review a building, not reviewing a religion," Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto said.

A formal public hearing on the project is planned for May 7th, during the Brookfield Common Council’s Plan Commission meeting at Brookfield’s City Hall (2000 N. Calhoun Road).

CLICK HERE for more information on the project via the Brookfield Patch’s website.

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