The Rose Township board in Michigan voted in June to advise the Ogemaw County Planning Commission to deny a permit sought by a Muslim man, Nayef Salha, to build a secular camp for kids. Many local residents oppose the camp based on fears it could become a terrorist training camp (video below).
During the Rose Township board meeting on June 8, resident Bob Clark asked, “Is there anything written on paper that says this isn’t going to be turned into a terrorist training facility of some kind?” notes The Ogema County Herald.
Resident Tim Reetz added:
"There are a lot of people here that are concerned about this could very easily be a training camp. A lot of people here want to (look into this) because that is a perfect location for a training cell — out of sight and out of everybody’s view and everything else.
"A hell of a lot can go on in a situation just like that, and it’s too suspicious for me.
"I think there should be some extensive background investigation into the owners of the property and the people that want to develop the property and their associates. The people that do that would be the FBI, and I think there should some contact made officially from the board to the FBI and the ATF."
Other residents voiced concerns about the environment and their safety if the camp were built by Salha on his property.
The camp would include: eight cabins, a bath house, a gravel parking lot, a floating dock, a security shed and expanding an existing covered dock.
Other existing structures would also be used for the children's camp, which could hold up to 96 children and 30 adults, according to the architects hired to design the camp.
Resident Carol Sappington said at the Ogemaw County Planning Commission meeting on June 24, “I have heard on the news that in every state in the United States we have an (Islamic State) group. I think the citizens ought to keep an eye on what is developing,” The Huffington Post reports.
In response, Salha stated, "It was disgusting. It made me sick to my stomach."
Salha gave the FBI permission to release his records to The Huffington Post, which has not happened yet.
Salha claims he received a threatening phone call, and his barber in nearby Detroit won't cut his hair out of fears that he might be associated with Islamic State group.
Salha is originally from Lebanon, but came to the U.S. as a young boy. Now an American citizen, he doesn't follow Islamic laws in a strict manner, goes by his nickname "David," and says several of his family members, including his wife, are Christian.
But residents are still suspicious because the children's camp would be called "Camp Amen," which happens to be the name of Salha's son.
On Wednesday, the Ogemaw County Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 against a permit for the camp “because it would not be harmonious with the secluded nature of the neighborhood."
“I will sell everything I have to get my civil rights,” Salha responded. “This is where my kids live, and they have to learn that they have rights like everybody else. They cannot be denied for made-up reasons.”