Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
When Zia Rahman and other Voorhees-area Muslims began looking for a site to build a mosque five years ago, they anticipated some community opposition, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
They didn't anticipate the level or depth of resistance - or the attention it would attract regionally, even nationally.
One of the first signs of trouble was an anonymous flyer - distributed in the community in 2003 - suggesting that a mosque might attract worshipers with links to terrorists.
Then came residents' complaints that it would create traffic and parking problems and wouldn't generate property taxes. A few said anger over the 9/11 attacks might make the mosque a target of vandals.
But Rahman and the 15-family Muslim congregation faithfully pushed on with the project, befriending people of many religions who helped overwhelm the opposition.
Yesterday, scores of those friends and other members of the community turned out for an open house at the mosque, which began services last month, during the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.