Plans for Mosque in D.C. Suburb

August 10, 2000

Source: The Washington Post

On August 10, 2000, The Washington Post reported that "For nearly three years, the Islamic Society of Frederick has been trying to build a house of worship for its members, who regularly drive more than an hour to worship at mosques in Montgomery or Baltimore counties. And for three years, some members say, they have been misled and rebuffed by county and Frederick city officials. The group contends that county officials have taken steps to impede construction of their 300-seat mosque--the county's first. County officials respond that they have acted to regulate development in general--not the mosque specifically--and have applied the same standards to the mosque that they apply to any construction proposal. 'A number of people have raised the issue and said if this were a Christian church, [the county] wouldn't do the same,' said David Severn, an attorney for the Islamic Society of Frederick.

"As Frederick has become something of a bedroom community for Washington commuters, development has increased, and so have concerns about controlling it. The county also has become increasingly diverse. In 1990, census figures showed that the county was 93 percent white--about the same as in 1980 and 1970. But census projections estimate that the proportion of white residents will be 92 percent this year and 90 percent by 2010."