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Islamic Center of Central Missouri plans expansion

Thursday, July 14, 2011 | 10:01 p.m. CDT; updated 11:37 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 14, 2011
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The Islamic Center of Central Missouri is planning to expand its facility on South Fifth Street.

COLUMBIA — The Islamic Center of Central Missouri, which has seen its congregation grow over the last decade, hopes to expand its facility at 201 S. Fifth St.

The center has filed a preliminary plan with the city to include a two-story school complex; a four-story, 27-apartment complex; a gymnasium; and a kitchen.

“I’m just praying to God it pulls through,” said Rashed Nizam, chairman of the mosque.  “Our community is eagerly waiting to see the change ... to quickly move forward.”

An architect for the project, Salim Rangwala of St. Louis, e-mailed a site plan to the Columbia Building and Site Development Department on Nov. 29 of last year. No official petition to expand has been filed, although city officials responded to Rangwala with comments on the project.

“The architect is seeking preliminary comments to see if he is on the right track with the proposed development,” John Simon of the building department wrote in a Nov. 30 e-mail to the city’s development review committee.

City engineering aide David Bauer called the project “pretty preliminary but conceptually it seems OK” in comments cited in a Dec. 3 e-mail by Shane Creech, Building and Site Development manager.

“The provision of a fire department connection for the gym, current school off Locust Street, and apartment building will prevent the blocking of the parking lot and allow fire apparatus access during an emergency,” Lt. Brian Davison, the assistant fire marshal, wrote in a Dec. 1 e-mail to the architect.

The Water and Light Department would require a new transformer for the project, according to comments in an e-mail from John Blakemore, an engineering specialist.

Currently the ICCM is applying for a loan in order to jump-start its long-anticipated project, Nizam said. Once the project is approved by the bank, the center will use another designer to officially apply for permission from the city and start construction.

According to Nizam, one reason for the congregation’s expansion may be the increase in immigrant Muslim families who have come to Columbia.

Since 2001, anti-Islamic fervor has increased nationwide. One instance of anti-mosque activity since 9/11 occurred in Cincinnati on Dec. 20, 2005, when two pipe bombs were detonated outside a mosque.

In Missouri, vandalism toward Islamic sites has increased in the last three years. In September 2008, the sign of Joplin’s Islamic Center was burned. Eight months later, a Cape Girardeau resident threw rocks at the windows of the local Islamic center. In January, vandals struck three walls of the Springfield Islamic Center with profanity and graphic images.


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Comments

janet tucker July 14, 2011 | 11:18 p.m.

I believe there are some very good muslims.. however there are so many radical ones and so many new immigrants and our immigration quotas are way out of control...How do you weed out the good from the bad?
There are too many world wide that do NOT want to assimilate into their new respective cultures...
They want to bring all the craziness with them..
NO MATTER WHAT NATIONALITY OR CULTURE OR RELIGION IF YOU ARE ARE TO BECOME A US CITIZEN THEN YOU MUST SWEAR ALLEGIANCE TO THE US OVER ANY RELIGION (NO MATTER WHAT IT IS) AND TAKE A LIE DETECTOR TEST TO PROVE YOUR TRUTHFULNESS...
OTHERWISE YOU DON'T GET TO COME HERE!
THAT GOES FOR EVERYONE FROM NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION OR WHERE YOU COME FROM!!

I AM SALUTING THOSE WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN WHO WERE BRAVE ENOUGH TO MARCH THROUGH THE STREETS VOICING THEIR DESIRE FOR FREEDOM AND OUTING THOSE BARBARIC MEN WHO ABUSE THEM ALL THE TIME! ISLAMS ONLY HOPE IS FOR THE WOMEN TO REBEL AND GET THOSE MULLAHS AND NUT JOBS OUT OF THE 6TH CENTURY!

ALL ARE WELCOME BUT YOU MUST ASSIMILATE AND BECOME AMERICAN OR FRENCH OR GERMAN OR WHAT EVER COUNTRY THEY IMMIGRATE TO... NO SHARIA... NO SPECIAL ANYTHING.... NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU GO TO A PUBLIC POOL... WEAR A SWIM SUIT... NO FACE COVERING ETC...
AND IF MUSLIM MEN DON'T LIKE IT ...TOO BAD...
IF YOU WANT TO BE ACCEPTED .... THEN LEAVE THE INSANITY BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 15, 2011 | 4:30 a.m.

Janet: The article concerns an expansion of the local Islamic center. At least some participants in this center are NOT United States citizens and are therefore not required to have taken an oath of allegiance to the United States, any more than other international students or visiting faculty at MU, MS&T, UMKC or UMSL are required to do.

Correct me if needed, but I don't recall that the two persons who were strewing cotton balls on the MU campus were Muslims. Idiots, yes; Muslims, no.

I have two never-used standard computer keyboards and will be happy to give you one (no charge). There is obviously something wrong with your computer keyboard, since it seems to produce mainly capital letters. :)

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking July 15, 2011 | 5:43 a.m.

janet tucker wrote:

"however there are so many radical ones and so many new immigrants"

No, there really aren't. Radical Muslims are a tiny fraction of Muslims worldwide, and they're often radical not because of their religion, but because of political factors.

Where's the terror? We simply don't have a problem with terror on our soil. Far more people die every year in accidents than have been killed by terror attacks. Your plane is far more likely to crash than it is to be taken down by the Muslim passenger in a burqa. Let's be sensible.

DK

(Report Comment)
Harold Sutton July 15, 2011 | 8:37 a.m.

How come?
We are not welcome to promote our Religious beliefs in almost all of the countries that they are from yet they are encouraged officially to do so here.

And the remark about two keyboards; You imply that she is either ignorant, poorly educated, or otherwise handicapped. That was very rude and arrogant of you to say!!!!

(Report Comment)
Tony Black July 15, 2011 | 8:45 a.m.

Harold, I hear this argument a lot. So you are saying we should be more like them, instead of the free country we are? Is that our goal?

(Report Comment)
Joy Mayer July 15, 2011 | 11:00 a.m.

Thank you to those of you who are keeping this conversation respectful. Those of us in the newsroom are keeping a close eye on this thread this morning. Please do flag us if anything is said that you think violates our policy (found here: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/p/miss...).

— Joy Mayer, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Harold Sutton July 15, 2011 | 11:46 a.m.

to Tony Black; No!!! quite the opposite!! What Janet pointed out is where I stand also.
If not for loud outcry from patriotic citizens of this country, Sharia law would have been implemented in a number of areas in this country. If you are not aware of instances such as this being attempted, then you should be listening more to national news that is sourced from other than just the Liberal Media. Try google "Sharia Law in USA".

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire July 15, 2011 | 12:55 p.m.

Send Sharia to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 15, 2011 | 1:09 p.m.

Right Harold, because shariah law trumps the Constitution...

(Report Comment)
Louis Schneebaum July 15, 2011 | 1:32 p.m.

As a native Missourian, I look forward to the construction of the Islamic Center and welcome all of its visitors in advance.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black July 15, 2011 | 4:42 p.m.

Harold, please list the cases that have come before judges, where Sharia law was considered. My understanding is that it has only happened twice, one thrown out and the other a custody dispute between Muslim parents. In other words, there is no problem, only percieved ones.

(Report Comment)
Tony Black July 15, 2011 | 4:46 p.m.

Are all Baptists like Fred Phelps, the funeral protester? Just asking.

(Report Comment)
James Eames July 15, 2011 | 5:12 p.m.

If Phelps had congregations throughout the world and was using bombs instead of signs to the tune of killing thousands of gays and other "infidels" throughout the world, damn straight I'd be more concerned about the Baptists, especially if most other Baptists spent more time & energy condemning us for being afraid of them than their fellow Baptists for committing deadly acts of terror. And if Phelps and his minions were to openly state that his goal was to hold anti-gay-and-dog-and-atheist-and-buddhist-and-Jewish laws throughout the world, I certainly would hesitate to open our country's doors to outsider Baptists as well. Just answering your question as honestly as I can.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2011 | 9:23 p.m.

James Eames - Quite good. You have put it to the intellectuals around here in the simplest terms. Any future comments should indicate whether the poster accepts or rejects this truth.

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson July 15, 2011 | 9:53 p.m.

I think we need to distinguish between Islam, and "Islamism". The former is the religion, the latter is the political movement. The former has many peaceful adherents; the latter, not so much. Islamism is certainly more prevalent in traditionally Islamic countries, but has made some inroads into traditionally non-Islamic countries, especially in western Europe.

Just ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Or Theo Van Gogh. Oh wait, Theo's dead. Nevermind.

I grew up Baptist, and my grandpa was a Freewill Baptist preacher. Most Baptists I know would personally like to stomp a mudhole into Fred Phelps' sorry carcass. And that's just the women. The men would probably do worse, though all would pray forgiveness later.

Such is an apples and oranges comparison, anyway.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 15, 2011 | 10:08 p.m.

@Frank Christian:

Did you have to include the word "intellectuals" in your post? In this large and highly diverse multi-campus university "system" there are venues where calling persons "intellectuals" is viewed as an insult.

"We ain't no #@&%$ intellectuals!"

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2011 | 10:32 p.m.

Tony Robertson - How could you give your sage description of Islam without ever mentioning the Threat, Radical Islam? Are you in AG Eric Holder's camp? He can't mention it either. Hard to understand for most Americans is why this debate about the safety of our people and our country from this avowed and physically expressed enemy, Radical Islam, can be acknowledged by everyone except those on our Left? For kicks look at:http://patriotpost.us/commentary/2011/03/18/just-what-is-radical-islam/

It has long been known that those Governments use Islam to control their people.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2011 | 10:44 p.m.

Ellis - I have remembered and posted the remarks of D' Rep Richard Ichord in a speech in the shade of the trees of the Boone County Courthouse about those who opposed the winning of the Vietnam War. He called them pseudo-intellectuals. Might that work better?

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 15, 2011 | 10:51 p.m.

tony - I can't pull the url suggested, up. Again - http://patriotpost.us/commentary/2011/03...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 16, 2011 | 4:42 a.m.

Frank Christian:

Interesting. I thought George Wallace coined the expression "pseudo-intellectuals" (during this bid to be President). George certainly made extensive use of the expression. It was the way George said it, with the accent on "pseudo-" and no accent on "intellectuals." My late wife found George an endless source of amusement.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle July 16, 2011 | 7:09 a.m.

Rather than focusing on the (typically polarized) debate about the challenges posed to the US by political Islamism, perhaps we could acknowledge that the good people at Islamic Center of Central Missouri have been an asset to Columbia, and that this expansion should not be viewed as part of that threat except by the Chicken Littles of the world.
.
Janet Tucker might have explored whether the members of ICCM deserved her overzealous finger-wagging before she began shouting. Their history shows they that do not.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2011 | 9:06 a.m.

"challenges posed to the US by political Islamism," Yet another advertises the inability to deal with the terrorism inflicted upon innocents, world wide by RADICAL Islam. Janet Tucker made clear which of that faith, she was referring to. "there are so many radical ones". "There are too many world wide that do NOT want to assimilate into their new respective cultures...".

Even our latest President acknowledges the seriousness of the threat from this group. To purposefully ignore them while chastising anyone who does not as "finger-wagging shouters" is not only asinine, (a condition to which we all have a right)but also adds danger to our safety which is no ones "right".

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle July 16, 2011 | 9:24 a.m.

Again, I wish good luck to our friends at ICCM, and see no reason why this thread has to move into dire warnings about "RADICAL Islam." What a shame that some wish to conflate one and the other.
.
Folks, the ICCM is doing a bit of expansion. The sky isn't falling. Chicken Little was wrong. No need to imitate him.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 16, 2011 | 9:54 a.m.

Obviously this matter won't be resolved this weekend or any time soon. As I pointed out above, the article being commented upon concerns expansion of an existing local Muslim facility. Has anyone read the article?

Meanwhile, the offer of a free, never-used standard computer keyboard still stands (choice of colors). I am not interested in paying shipping charges, so it will be necessary to show up in person to pick it up. :)

[I use a Dell ergonomic keyboard. Terrific!]

(Report Comment)
Tony Robertson July 16, 2011 | 12:59 p.m.

@frankchristian: Eric Holder's camp? Why yes, absolutely. Went camping and bass fishing with him just last week. We tight. Though, he did not heed my advice of using Douglas Co. MO as a compromise venue between Gitmo and NYC for enemy combatants.

Read my comment again - I did mention radical Islam. That is the political movement of Islamism I mentioned.

I have seen nothing like that from our neighbors north of campus. Admittedly, the closest I have ever been to it is Flat Branch Brew Pub's patio.

(Report Comment)
frank christian July 16, 2011 | 1:34 p.m.

Tony R.- Did I miss the "tongue in your cheek" while you wrote "apples and oranges" Hope so and sorry if indeed, yours, was.

(Report Comment)

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