Vote in a Mosque
Keep it up, Pennsylvanians!
Here it is:
Pennsylvania Voters Don't Want to Vote at Mosque
By Monisha Bansal
November 15, 2005
(CNSNews.com) - Some voters in Whitehall Township, Penn., were offended that the Lehigh Valley County election board had them vote at a local mosque on Nov. 8. The county uses 58 religious establishments for voting, but this was the first year that residents in the 12th District voted at the Islamic Center of Lehigh Valley.
"Anytime you have people objecting to a voting place merely because it's an Islamic house of worship, I think that is a symptom of anti-Muslim prejudice," Ibrahim Hooper of the Washington, D.C. based Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Cybercast News Service.
"It's something that religious and political leaders, not only in Pennsylvania, but nationwide, need to address," he added.
Betty Hillwig, the chief clerk of the county's election board, said the Islamic Center of Lehigh Valley was generous to offer its space for voting booths, and that the center would continue to be used in future elections.
"About a half dozen people called and said they weren't happy about it, but we were really lucky to be able to use the space," said Hillwig.
"They just didn't like the fact that it was in a mosque, because they didn't want to have to visit a Muslim house of worship," said Hooper.
The Morning Call, which reports Lehigh Valley local news, indicated that one-third of the voters at the mosque expressed concerns about voting there.
"It's a political thing, not a religious one. If the mosque is a radical one, then I've got a real problem with it, and chances are it is. The people of that community would know what's in their neighborhood," said Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank promoting American interests in the Middle East and a critic of radical Islam.