Source: The Herald Tribune
On March 17, 2004 The Herald Tribune reported, "Diversity. That's what Hytham Bakr said he thought Sarasota was all about. But since county commissioners imposed restrictions on the mosque he attends that other houses of worships don't have to follow, he questions whether diversity is just talk. 'Are they truly interested in diversity?' Bakr asked about county officials. 'They want to talk about diversity, but they don't want to see us around.' Bakr's assessment comes two weeks after county commissioners gave the mosque on North Lockwood Ridge Road permission to expand, but without any portion that would be visible above the tree line. Commissioners placed a 40-feet height restriction on the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton, the only mosque serving Sarasota and Manatee counties. That restriction hasn't been imposed on any of the 14 other religious groups seeking county commission approval for similar permits since 2002."