Update: Pompano Beach Council Approves Zoning for Controversial Mosque

June 14, 2006

Source: Local10.com


On June 14, 2006 Local10.com reported, "The Islamic Center of South Florida received the go-ahead Tuesday to begin construction on a new mosque, despite a fight from some residents in the neighborhood where it would be built who are opposed to bringing a Muslim place of worship into a predominantly black community. The city council voted 3-2 to change the zoning of the proposed site from residential to commercial, allowing the Islamic Center to erect a larger mosque on undeveloped land on Northwest 16th Avenue. Commissioner Pat Larkins was one of the most outspoken critics of a new mosque. Larkins, who is black, said there is a perception in the neighborhood he represents that Muslims do not give back to the community. 'I am not opposed to constructing the facility,' Larkins said. 'I am opposed to the conduct of the Muslim business community in our neighborhood.' Larkins drew applause from those in attendance at Tuesday's City Hall meeting when he said there was no need for the mosque in a predominantly black neighborhood. His comments raised furor among the Muslim community when he was quoted by The South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying Muslims 'don't contribute a nickel to any cause in terms of improving the community.' He went on to say 'most black folks see them as people that come in to rape the community and go away.' Larkins said he is opposed to the way some Muslim business owners operate and treat blacks. 'I think it's a shame when I see beer and wine sold by people who claim that they preach Islam at 4 o'clock in the morning in my community,' Larkins said."