Iowa: Controversy over North Liberty City Officials Plan to Lease Land Intended for Muslim Youth Camp

March 22, 2003

Source: The Washington Post

On March 22, 2003 The Washington Post reported that "so far, nothing exists of the Muslim Youth Camps of America except the name and some preliminary sketches of a main lodge with a domed prayer hall. Yet, the proposal to build a $2 million Islamic summer camp in Iowa has become a kind of Rorschach test -- a hazy picture in which supporters and opponents see all their hopes and fears for future generations of Muslims in the American heartland... The camp is the brainchild of a handful of families in Cedar Rapids, home to one of the oldest mosques in the United States and a small Muslim community that dates back more than a century. They may soon gain a powerful backer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is considering whether to lease a former Girl Scout campground to the nonprofit group for $1 a year... As the United States invades Iraq and mounts a worldwide campaign against al Qaeda terrorists, however, the Corps of Engineers has been deluged with angry letters, e-mails and phone calls."