DuPage Board deals setback to mosque proposal

February 8, 2011

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(WBEZ/ Odette Yousef)
Neighbors of the proposed mosque site voiced their opposition at today's county board meeting.

In an unexpected turn of events, a group of Sunni Muslims failed to win approval for a worship center that they have sought to build on a 5-acre parcel of unincorporated DuPage County. Instead, the county board rejected the bid by the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America, or MECCA, to construct a 79-foot minaret and a dome. The board also sent the group’s petition to build the rest of the mosque back to the county’s development committee.

While the meeting did not go as MECCA leaders had expected, several residents of the area around the proposed site were relieved.
 
“Really, we're not surprised that it went back to the board for further look-see,” said Sam Cornett, whose house abuts the property. Referring to some of the board members, Cornett added, “Now the people have looked at the property, which we invite anybody to come and look at.”
 
Cornett and his wife invited board members to visit their house and look at the proposed site after the development committee’s vote last week. They say that may have played some role in turning the tide against the mosque. Several board members that voted for the project last week voted against it Tuesday.
 
MECCA president Dr. Abdulgany Hamadeh said he does not yet know whether the group will continue pushing forward with their proposal.