The Culpeper County Board of Supervisors in Virginia denied a permit to an Islamic mosque April 6 (video below).
"[Board members] say we received a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls because they don't want Islamic Center of Culpeper over here because of something happening in Europe," Mohammad Nawabe of the Islamic Center of Culpepper told WUSA.
According to Nawabe, about twenty Muslims have been meeting in a temporary location, but they want to build a mosque so that they have their "own place to pray."
The center found some land to build a Mosque, but as they contemplated building plans, Nawabe realized that a pump-and-haul septic system would be needed, and that would require a permit.
Nawabe recalled gathering the proper documents, but the board denied him in a 4-3 vote.
Nawabe said that "people started clapping and just cheering."
The Culpepper Times also mentioned clapping and cheering, and noted that the board has considered 19 of these type permits in the past and only refused one other.
Board Chairman Alexa Fritz said that she received unsettling phone calls, and mentioned that a red sign was painted against approval of the permit.
Supervisor Sue Hanson added, "We are supposed to support rules and regulations … we have in the past passed some applications and renewed when they have run out … our policy doesn’t give us the right to turn someone down because of religion."
"If there is a situation where there is no other alternative, I see that, but in this case there is not a hardship … they’re buying this property at a cheap price and stand to enhance their situation by doing this," Supervisor Jack Frazier stated. "They can walk away from this property and look to another [that doesn’t have these issues]."
"I cannot support -- it’s not about who but about what," Frazier insisted.
"There were three deciding factors on this one," Supervisor Bill Chase told WUSA. "They hadn't bought the property yet, they still haven't, so they don't own it. And they had no plan or no schedule on when they'd be on it."
"The ordinances say emergency use and this was not an emergency," Chase added.
Nawabe is skeptical and has contacted an attorney.