Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reason and the Constitution Prevail: Mayfield Mosque Approved

Here's your proof that public pressure can overcome even fear-based bigotry and racism. Mayfield Kentucky: I am proud of you.


The Mayfield Board of Zoning Adjustments on Tuesday unanimously approved a Somali man's request for a permit to operate a mosque in the Western Kentucky city — reversing a previous denial that had generated national controversy.

The decision, which came despite board concerns about parking, grants Khadar Ahmed a permit to operate a mosque for fellow Somalis who had recently moved to Graves County to work in a poultry plant.

“Basically the board maintained that parking is an issue, but they conceded that there is enough off-site parking available on a regular basis,” City Planner Brad Rodgers said after the vote.

“We are pleased,” said attorney William Deatherage of Hopkinsville, who represented Ahmed in cooperation with the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky. “We think the board observed the constitutional rights of the applicant, and the applicant himself is very pleased because now he gets to make his very small prayer center available for the Muslim citizens in Graves County.”

Tom Waldrop, a former Mayfield city council member, spoke in favor of approving the permit at the hearing. He said opponents of the mosque were in the minority.

“This is a good-hearted town,” he said in a telephone interview after the meeting. “This is not a mean town.”

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