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Mosque proposal gets revised in Palo Alto

Original post made on Sep 1, 2010

A Muslim group seeking to build a mosque on San Antonio Road has revised its plans for the proposed building in South Palo Alto.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 9:24 AM

Comments (23)

Posted by can't we all get along?, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 9:48 am

According to the Mercury-News, leaders of the Jewish center are looking forward to sharing programs and activities with their new mosque neighbors: Web Link


Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:04 am

Palo Alto is a city that has prided itself on its socially progressive thinking, including its acceptance of alternative lifestyle choices, among them embracing the LGBT community. I find it odd, then, that there is no discussion about the mosque's presence in Palo Alto. Islam, IMHO, is a religion that appears to be clearly & fundamentally opposed to the diversity and ethos of Palo Alto on social matters, as evidenced by this comparative review video:

Web Link

Will leaders of PA's Muslim community, therefore, please confirm that they
1. Accept the rights of the LGBT community to exist?
2. Accept, without precondition, the preeminence of America's Constitution over Islamic law here in the United States?
3. Accept the rights of non-Muslims to adhere to their own religion(s) of choice, without any lessening of their equal rights in the eyes of Muslims?

Thank you,

Chris Zaharias
Palo Alto citizen


Posted by Follow the rules, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:31 am

I don't have a problem with a mosque, but I do have a problem with any part of the building exceeding the 50-foot height limit. How can staff say that exceeding the 50-foot height limit -- a limit that is clearly spelled out in the Comprehensive plan -- is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan?

The exceedingly tall sculpture tower thingy should not have been approved for the huge fortress-like Jewish Community Center. Neither should an overly high minaret. Palo Alto's zoning rules need to be followed, and every religious group should be required to follow the zoning rules to the letter.

Next, there's going to be a Christian group wanting to build an exceedingly tall cross.

Time to fire all of the high-level planning staff and replace them with people who will follow the zoning ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan. If the City Manager can't get the planning staff to stop ignoring the zoning code and the Comprehensive Plan, then he should be replaced.


Posted by name, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Anon, a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

I'm wondering why all but the first two posts have not been deleted by the editors. Even the second post is questionable. I'm thinking we don't make every other church that opens in Palo Alto agree to those same terms. Do we demand that Catholics accept American law over that of the Vatican? No, we assume they do that. Do we demand christian churches declare their acceptance of LGBT folks? No, no we don't.

Prejudice is prejudice whether you hate gay people or muslims. Discrimination is discrimination even if it's "us" doing the the discriminating. Do not cloud your prejudice with accusations toward others just because they are the popular group to hate now-a-days. Do not cloud discrimination with misinformation.

It's particularly frustrating since the bulk of American's don't know the difference between Arab, Muslim, and Islam. Instead of asking your questions here why don't you go into the real community and ask the people who are building this thing your questions. If you were looking for anything other than a controversy you already would have.


Posted by Seriously?, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 1, 2010 at 11:45 am

They said that no call to prayers will be done from the minarets. So no earplugs, no issue, done.

As for Chris Zaharias, why don't you go after the Catholic Church as well then for LGBT rights, or any other religious organization that does not fit your beliefs. You're not embracing other people's right to support their beliefs, and I don't really see them infringing upon yours by being there. I'm very glad there has been little or no objections to the mosque (which was ALREADY there) being redone.


Posted by Anon, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 1, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Open-minded, tolerant people who love diversity and welcome Muslims must not have read the Koran. Do study it -- it's a very informative book that explains much of what goes on in the world today. Radical Islam comes directly from teachings of Mohammed. It's ironic and appropriate that this mosque should appear across from a synagogue, because it's mainly Jewish groups such as the American Jewish Committee who for a hundred years have relentlessly pressured Congress and the public for open borders. Now the group that is most prejudiced against Jews (read the Koran) is their neighbor. The Middle East recreated right here in Palo Alto.


Posted by andreas, a resident of Ventura
on Sep 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm

This is great news! I welcome the Muslim community and their mosque as part of Palo Alto.


Posted by Fred, a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by One-of-the-Kafir, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

There is the issue of the mosque, and then there is the issue of Islam--that which will be taught in the mosque--

Muslim History:
Web Link
What Is Islam:
Web Link
History of Islam:
Web Link

Koran:
Web Link

Koran:
Web Link

People who "welcome the mosque and Islam into the community" really should take some time to familiarize yourselves with this religion, and social order.


Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:45 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by One-of-the-Kafir, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Sep 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 3:53 pm

There are violent extremists in Israel as well--- that does not mean we should limit synagogues in Palo Alto.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by One-of-the-Kafir, a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by TJ, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Follow the Rules says: "I don't have a problem with a mosque, but I do have a problem with any part of the building exceeding the 50-foot height limit."

Why should the Mosque follow the rules and build within Palo Alto's 50 foot height limit when the Campus for Jewish Life was given an additional 12 feet above the 50 foot height limit to put an extra floor on their condo units.

Once Council agrees to break the rules for one group expect other groups to request the same favors.


Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:33 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by The Real Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Sep 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Sep 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm

This whole forum has gone off the deep end. I thought Palo Alto was supposed to be an educated, tolerant place. But, the voices on this thread, and on so many other topics, are just ignorant, loud, and mean.

PA seems to just hate -- hate Muslims, Jews, trains, Stanford, public school principals and teachers, poor people, new buildings, cars, whatever. Where is the public discussion from thoughtful and smart people?


Posted by Martin Hellman, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Martin Hellman is a registered user.

As someone who actually knows some members of this Muslim congregation (some for almost 30 years), I am horrified at some of the comments above. The Bohras (that's the Muslim sect to which this congregation belongs) are some of the nicest, most decent people I know -- and that's not an exaggeration. There's not room here to go into all the details, but suffice it to say that I arranged a very successful event with them and members of my own Jewish congregation. We had a lot in common, including a strong commitment to trying to make the world a better, more peaceful place. As just two examples: The mosque's design incorporates a number of features to make it more environmentally friendly, and the intensity of work on peace issues by several of my friends there would put most people to shame.

My thanks go to those posters who had the sense to question the more prejudiced remarks. Yes, Islam has elements that are major problems. So does my own religion and every other. The enemy is not Islam, but narrow, prejudiced thinking. That's what leads to the kind of acts. whether by Muslims or others, that we fear and deplore.

Martin Hellman
Stanford, CA


Posted by svatoid, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm

svatoid is a registered user.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Regarding Mr Zaharias' comments, I wonder why he does not ask the same thing of other religions . After all it was the Mormon and Catholic Church that led the push for Prop. 8. It is the born-again Christians that claim other eligions are inferior and their adherents will brun in hell. Why single out Islam?


Posted by minerva052, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

minerva052 is a registered user.

Has anybody seen the site of the proposed mosque? Ugly square buildings mostly warehouses and boring office buildings. The mosque is actually going to improve the looks of the area.


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