By Leo Hohmann
A radical mosque known for breeding terrorists has been granted special privileges by the city of Bloomington, Minn., which allows its members to take over a public park and treat it as their own, to the exclusion of other residents, according to complaints filed by a citizens group.
The Friends of Smith Park started a petition drive and took its case to the Bloomington City Council with a formal complaint Monday night.
At issue is the Dar al-Farooq mosque, which WND has previously reported has a record of turning Somali refugees into jihadists for ISIS and other terror groups.
At least half a dozen known Somali terrorists have attended Dar al-Farooq in recent years including Adnan Farah, 20, and his brother Mohamed, 22, who pleaded guilty in April to providing material support to ISIS. The mosque is headed by Waleed Idris al-Meneesey, who preaches hatred of Jews straight from the Quran and the hadiths.
Now it has come to light that city officials in Bloomington have given al-Meneesy and his Sharia-compliant followers special privileges that violate its conditional-use permit, or CUP, and that are not offered to any other religious group, said attorney and retired Lt. Col. Larry Frost. By doing so, Frost said the city has exposed itself to potential lawsuits from churches and synagogues in the area that have not been afforded the same rights.
“According to your police officers, you’ve privileged Dal al-Farooq worshipers above all other religions. You’ve made Smith Park a Dar al-Farooq-only zone after the park is already closed, excluding citizens of all other faiths and those of no faith,” said Frost, who represents Friends of Smith Park.
The council members sat mum during Frost’s comments.
Long list of abuses
The list of abuses and alleged violations by Dar al Farooq, which was allowed to build in a residential area, is long. They range from dumping asbestos in the trash to having three to five times the occupancy allowed by its conditional-use permit, making excess noise, shining car lights and producing overflow parking at all hours of the night during the month of Ramadan – and to a lesser extent every weekend. The mosque members take over the adjacent public park and force out residents of nearby neighborhoods, often staying in the park well after the posted closing time of 11 p.m.
Neighbors have been told by mosque workers to get out of Smith Park “because the park belongs to [the Muslims],” said one local woman.
Another local resident, Matilda Zumba, who lives in a neighborhood near the mosque, approached the city council Monday night with an interpreter. She said she has two small children who are always playing outside.
“I’m very afraid because there is a lot of traffic and a lot of speeding and the people of Dar al-Farooq don’t respect our speed limits and the safety of our children,” Zumba told the council. “I’m also now afraid to take our children to the park because there are many people there who do not respect the rights of our own children to play there.
“A lot of times the other children don’t want to work together to share with our children. Sometimes their parents are there and they may shout at them but they don’t do anything, they just continue to let their children interfere. The park is very important to the Spanish community especially and we met there a lot, but now we don’t because we don’t feel safe.”
Mosque attendees have flooded the neighborhood with offsite parking, blocked driveways and walked through neighbors’ yards without permission. The city has told neighbors if they park in joint-use parking, the neighbors have to “hurry to the sidewalk” and get out of the parking lot so it would be available for the mosque.
Last week one supporter of the neighborhood group witnessed mosque abusers using joint-parking areas to practice driving at 1:30 a.m. – by using city garbage cans as obstacles. When the witness came to film the event, three young mosque members confronted him, one demanding to know what he was doing and telling him he could not film the offending car or its license. Later, a police officer told the witness that “only mosque members can use the parking lots after normal park hours” – in other words, the public space is reserved for use by one particular religion after it’s closed to the public.
The city took more than three years and 67 drafts to complete the conditional-use permit with the mosque. Built into that contract is a requirement that the city use a laborious five-phase, six-month enforcement process to correct any Dar al-Farooq violations.
“Clearly that’s a non-enforcement clause,” Frost said. “The city has to give this amazing provision to every new church applicant, and I would argue, every current CUP holder can demand the same. Why? Because you are privileging Dar al-Farooq above other religions.
“One of your own council members said ‘I feel like we’re punishing applicants that came after Dar al Farook,’ because you required them to do things that Dar al-Farooq is not required to do.”
The city council granted a conditional-use permit to Dar al Farooq enabling the mosque to operate in a residential neighborhood, then failed to enforce either the CUP or the joint-use agreement allowing the mosque to use Smith Park.
As a result, the neighbors of Smith Park have been reduced to second-class status, unable to use and enjoy a public park adjacent to their neighborhood.
Mosque actions violating the CUP and JUA were not stopped because the city attorney insisted that the federal Religious Land-use and Incarcerated Persons Act, commonly called RLUIPA, did not allow the city to enforce the CUP/JUA, effectively making the neighborhood around Dar al Farooq a zoning-free area. The city attorney also told council members that enforcement of the CUP could result in lawsuits against council members in their private capacities. Both legal ideas are flatly false, said Frost.
“Your own city attorney, former attorney, told you that you had to do that, but you made a grave legal and moral error when you signed a CUP and then didn’t enforce it, because that’s not what RLUPA says,” Frost told the council on Monday night.
RLUIPA is a federal statute that requires local governments to issue permits for houses of worship equally when it comes to construction projects.
“But once you have the CUP you’re no longer in the permitting phase – it is not a legal permitting issue,” Frost said. “Despite what your previous city attorney said, you can enforce the CUP and you must.”
Friends of Smith Park are asking only that all city council resolutions concerning Dar al Farooq be enforced, including retroactive enforcement where legal and appropriate – exactly as would be the case for all other religious institutions with a conditional-use permit.
A mosque is not just a house of worship
Most Americans believe a mosque or Islamic Center is simply a “Muslim church,” when in fact it operates much differently, said Debra Anderson, coordinator of the Minneapolis chapter of ACT For America.
“In Islam, the prophet Mohammad is viewed as the perfect example of a man,” she said. “Anything he did is considered the example for all Muslims to follow for all time.”
Mohammad used the first mosques as political and military bases as well as houses of worship.
“It has been from the mosque that devout Mohammadans (Muslims) have waged their war of global conquest, slaughtering non-Muslims who refuse to surrender to Islam and producing a trail of blood and tears across world history,” Anderson said.
Last month police in Germany raided a property near a mosque and found a large cache of military-grade weapons being stored by Islamists.
Turkey’s Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once said: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the Muslim faithful our soldiers…”
Bloomington’s Dar al-Farooq is just one out of 83 mosques in Hennepin county. There are 163 mosques, Islamic centers, masjids and prayer spaces in Minnesota at last count, Anderson said.
“How many are in your county? Who is the Imam? What are they teaching? Are they teaching that ‘Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope?” Anderson asks, referring to the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In an email alert Tuesday, Anderson said three civilian Minnesota women, two of whom are grandmothers, have been “doing the work that our FBI and law enforcement agencies used to do before all their training manuals were purged of anything deemed offensive by the Muslim Brotherhood … before our military, intelligence, and law enforcement institutions became ‘sensitive’ to blasphemy laws as dictated by Islamic Sharia law. Yes, the country is in great trouble. You are needed.”
“Please, stand with these American patriots in Bloomington in their effort to protect and preserve the safety and livability of their neighborhood from this radical mosque that is clearly demonstrating their utter disregard for American law, their neighbors … and more importantly our national security.”