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A blog that takes a look at West Chester area government, politics, and community events.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Islamification of America?

Last week, around the time I was filing stories about the Tredyffrin Planing Commission's decision to approve the Islamic Society of Valley Forge's expansion plan, I got an email with the subject line, "The islamification of america."

The body of the email read: "How PATHETIC is this that we are allowing the islamification of america to expand right in our backyards. What a foolish society we are to allow terrorists to move right on in." Following this was the text of one of my articles.

A can't say I was surprised. Every time I write about an Islamic organization, I get a couple of messages from people who are convinced the organization I've written about has ties to terrorism.

On the rare occasions that these people attempt to back up their claims, their evidence is incredibly spurious. Let's face it: the average citizen just does not have the expertise necessary to determine who is and who is not a national security threat.

But some average citizens think they do. After spending a few nights reading the writings of such threat-obsessed thinkers as Daniel Pipes and David Horowitz, they decide it's their patriotic duty to make life as difficult as possible for all the Muslim Americans who live near them.

Hence the trouble the Islamic Society of Valley Forge had when the public got wind of its plans to expand its worship facility.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In August of 2007 the zoning board of Tredyffrin Township was asked to grant variances to the Islamic Society of Valley Forge to build a 200 person worship hall on their Devon property. This 5600 square foot structure is much larger than the homes that surround the property. The parcel is bisected by Trout Creek and half the the property will be impervious due to parking lot and both structures on the lot.

The Tredyffrin residents who spoke at that meeting were commenting on zoning laws and why these laws should be enforced. The Islamic Society of Valley Forge asked to be relieved of the requirements. This argument had nothing to do with real or perceived National Security Threats. The topics of discussion during the Zoning Hearing were traffic, road safety, Trout Creek and maintaining the area as residential.

An accident history of Valley Forge Road reveals the safety concerns due to collisions. Penndot has identified Valley Forge Road as one of the top five busiest roads in Tredyffrin Township. Tredyffrin EAC has identified that area of Trout Creek as having 'severe erosion' problems. These are the facts. The failure of the Zoning Board to enforce the laws will affect our landscape for years to come.

The "Daily Local Dan" blog states that you receive messages attempting to link the organization you have written about to terrorism. This is not a zoning issue and was never presented as such by the residents.

Tredyffrin Township has zoning laws to preserve and protect our landscape. Please write an investigative piece on the number of variances granted by the board. Why do the laws exists if the township is too weak to enforce the laws?

May 24, 2008 7:07 AM 

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