Community News (V10-I24)

Everett Islamic Center faces troubles

EVERETT,WA-The Islamic Center of Everett has been asked by the city to pave its gravel parking lot or risk eviction. The paving will cost $80,000 which the management doesn’t have. The owner of the land on which the center is located has only $9,000 and he doesn’t know where the rest of the money is going to come.

The center’s troubles with the city began  two years ago when neighbors complained of parked trailors on its lot. When city officials looked into the complaint, they discovered the mosque, which is on a lot zoned for duplexes, small condominium buildings or other medium-density residences, Everett spokeswoman Kate Reardon told the Herald..

The city’s investigation also revealed that a second house on the lot is being used as a boarding house — another use that’s prohibited by the lot’s current zoning, she said.

The mosque’s management is planning to apply for a special use permit and address other concerns of the city.

Laurel Islamic center plans to end parking woes

LAUREL,MD-The Laurel Islamic Center faces an acute parking problem each Friday. It has space for 28 cars but this is not enough for the 300 worshippers who come every Friday, the Gazette reported.

To end this recurring problem the center has submitted a conceptual site plan with Prince George’s County for an expansion project. The first phase would enlarge the parking lot to about 140 spaces, Islamic Center president Hayder Qaadri said. They expect an announcement of the first public hearing within 60 days.

The center has been working on expansion plans for five years and the upcoming public hearing would be the first for its conceptual site plan. For a project to be approved, Park and Planning holds a series of public hearings on a site plan. If the plan is approved, final details are worked out and permits are issued.

A new basketball court for public use and a Sunday school classroom addition to the mosque are also included in the expansion plans.

Rais Khan gets county scholarship


MONTGOMERY,MD-Rais Khan of John F.Kennedy High School has announced a $1000 scholarship for his record of high academic achievement by the Montgomery School Board.

Interfaith group blasts Dunkin’ on keffiyeh

An interfaith group that includes rabbis blasted Dunkin’ Donuts for yielding to pressure to pull an ad featuring a keffiyeh.

The online ad featured Rachael Ray, the celebrity cook, posing against a background of cherry blossoms, wearing a black and white keffiyeh scarf, and holding up iced coffee. Conservative bloggers led by Michelle Malkin complained about the ad, saying it endorsed Arab radicalism because of the keffiyeh’s identification with Yasser Arafat, the former Palestinian leader.

Dunkin’ Donuts pulled the ad, saying “the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.”

The Interfaith Alliance, a religious freedom advocacy group, blasted the decision.
“Enough already,” Rev. C. Welton Gaddy, the alliance’s president, said in a statement. “Have we really reached the point where we are associating wearing a scarf of Middle Eastern origin with terrorist sympathies? Should we apply this standard to everything that comes from the Middle East? Or are we only applying this standard to our wardrobe?”



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