Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Uneasy Feelings Moving In
Muslim Sect's Proposal for Extensive Center Unsettles Small Frederick County Town

Philip Rucker, The Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Walkersville is a town of corn farmers and high school football, where American flags hang over front porches guarded by scarecrows and dotted with pumpkins.
Nestled near the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains on the rural outskirts of Frederick, it has so many churches that some residents call it "God's Country," and many of them are praying that this hamlet of 5,500 will be able to stop a proposed development.
Some say they worry the Islamic visitors would be intolerant of the Christian faith that runs through the tree-lined streets of Walkersville.

"My problem is with the way they view the Christian faith," said David Stull, 50, a woodcutter and produce salesman who has lived in Walkersville since Lyndon Johnson was president. "They dislike Christians; they dislike our fundamental beliefs," he continued. "I do believe it's going to cause a big problem here because of their hatred toward our views." [Note: They practice a different religion and disagree with Mr. Stull...Without speaking to the Ahmadiyya community, how Stull knows that they 'hate' his views is a mystery. Someone should ask him what he thinks of Islam and if he knows the fundamental differences between what one can loosely term "Orthodox" Sunni Islam, which is admittedly overly general, and the Ahmadiyya sects of Pakistan...I'm guessing that he doesn't know.)

Intisar Abbasi, 60, who lives in Frederick and commutes to Silver Spring to worship at the Ahmadiyya mosque, said he hopes his fellow Muslims will become a part of Walkersville. "I love the community, and the people are wonderful," Abbasi said. "I'm not surprised there are people who are angry, but, you know, that's part of the process."

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, SEE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/22/AR2007102202357.html?hpid=sec-religion


Cody said...

I come from a community that is even smaller than this and it seems that resistance to change is something these towns were founded on. While I would admit, the town may have legitimate concerns about the tripling of their size causing significant problems and changing their way of life, but to me it is obvious that this would not be the issue if it were "girl scouts" or "methodists". In an economic sense this is the sort of thing that small communities thrive on and compete for. My hometown of 1200 people hosts our county fair every year, to the pleasure and profit of every gas station, grocery store, motel, and organization in the area. Over the four days of the fair, my community accommodates more than a triple of its citizen population with relatively few issues. It disheartens me to know that despite the fact that my community is constantly looking for new economic opportunities, it too would probably refuse the Ahmadiyya community, based solely on the fact they are Muslim. The wheels of change move slow in small town America...if at all.

C. A. said...

Special thanks to a friend and reader, E.S., for bringing this article to my attention.

koyablog said...

I think all Americans have a right to say how they feel and express their fears about other people and faiths. As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, I want to assure all that I have seen nothing but love, brotherhood and service to humanity characterizing the lifes of the members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. I am sure our American friends will understand and appreciate them and any negative thoughts will eventually fade away and trust and understanding will prevail.