Brookfield neighbors raise concerns about plans to build large mosque

CREATED Feb. 14, 2012

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BROOKFIELD- The Muslim community is growing fast, and members say they need a new place to worship.

There are plans to build a large mosque in Brookfield.

The planning commission in Brookfield is moving forward and scheduling a public hearing for the Islamic society's proposed mosque.  The proposed building is 13,000 square feet on land near Calhoun Road in Brookfield.

Dr. Mushir Hassan is one of the organizers and works at a clinic that neighbors the proposed worship center.  "We thought it was a nice discreet location, it's quiet," said Dr. Hassan.

The Islamic society already owns the land and 60-70 members now pray at a space at the Waukesha Memorial Hospital.  They say they are looking for their own permanent space.

Neighbors have mixed feelings about the proposal.  "We have so much traffic on Calhoun Road now, that would be my concern," said one neighbor.

Greg Wimmer says he believes in freedom of religion, but is worried about building a mosque so close to a residential area.

"Is this going to bring in all the closet Islamic extremists that are hiding somewhere throughout?" asked Wimmer.

Mayor Steven Ponto says the Islamic society has worked closely with the city for almost three years now.

He says the group has scaled back the size of the mosque to lessen concerns about traffic on Calhoun Road.  "I expect there will be people who will come who will be curious about it, but I think they will be reassured by it.  It's a very attractive facility, a very attractive proposal," said Mayor Ponto.

The city has tentatively scheduled a public hearing for May 7th.