The Katy Islamic Association has bought eleven acres of property in Katy, Texas and plans to build a mosque, an Islamic community center, a school and senior housing. Some of the neighbors, good Christians all, I'm sure, have been protesting, taking actions ranging from an anti-Muslim web site to calling in nuisance complaints about things like where a pile of gravel for a parking lot was put. One delightful gentleman announced that he'd be running pig races on his property right next to where the new mosque is going to be, hoping to really piss off his new neighbors. Too bad for him that Muslims don't actually hate pigs.
The problem started, as many do, with a misunderstanding:
The dispute began when the group asked Baker to remove his cattle from the newly bought land. Baker agreed but mistakenly thought the group also wanted him off the land his family has lived on for more than 100 years. The rumor spread.
Baker said he got so mad he put up a sign announcing the pig races.
That's when all the tumult and shouting began, but it's pretty clear that Baker's perceived problem isn't really what was getting people up in arms.
Cynthia Blackman wrote [County Commissioner Steve Radack] that the center was a security risk: "Would you and your family safely and comfortably live next to this 11-acre Muslim mosque and facilities?"
Yes. Next question?
I mean, seriously, people! [facepalm] Do you think we could manage a tiny bit more irrational hysteria if we all tried really, really hard?
Gee, maybe we should just round up all the Muslims -- heck, grab all the Arabic-looking people just for good measure -- and put them into internment camps like we did to the Japanese-Americans during WWII. Because that worked SO well, and has been applauded by history as absolutely the right thing to have done. [eyeroll]
Not all non-Muslims in Katy are jerks, though:
The reaction has not been all negative. [Kamel Fotouh, president of the Katy Islamic Association] said one man came to the mosque on a Friday afternoon and apologized for his neighbors. "He moved me, really," Fotouh said. "The sense of fairness, the sense of standing by the underdog."
I'm very glad to hear that, seriously. The country needs a lot more people like him and a lot fewer people like his hysterical neighbors.
And my favorite part:
Though he now concedes the group probably is not after his land, Baker said he is obligated to go through with the pig races, probably within the next few weeks, because "I would be like a total idiot if I didn't. I'd be the laughingstock now because I've gone too far."
Too late, hon. You're already a laughingstock.