Plans to build mosque in Creswell area of Harford County draw outcry, threats on social media
Source: The Baltimore Sun
By David Anderson
Plans to build a mosque on a nearly 12-acre site in the Creswell area southeast of Bel Air have drawn condemnation from local residents, even threats via social media to destroy the house of worship.
The nonprofit Harford Islamic Center has submitted plans to Harford County to subdivide an 11.87-acre lot out of a larger 51-acre parcel at Route 543 and Nova Scotia Road, and convert buildings on the site into a 60-seat house of worship.
A preliminary plan to create the lot and a site plan to build the mosque are slated for review Wednesday morning by the county’s Development Advisory Committee. The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the first-floor conference room in the county administration building at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air, according to the agenda posted on the county website.
“We’re hoping things go smoothly,” Zainab Chaudry, director of the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, said. “We’re hoping that there’s an opportunity for civil dialogue.”
Chaudry, who has been working with Harford Islamic Center board members as they grapple with the community outrage, said she plans to attend the development committee hearing. The national nonprofit CAIR is an advocacy and civil rights organization that works on behalf of Muslims, according to its website.
Officials with CAIR worked with local law enforcement and the leaders of the Maryum Islamic Center in Columbia last March after a perceived threat against that center was posted on Facebook days after worshippers were shot and killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019.
Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times