Steve Elturk said another city board had already addressed a concern about broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer. It wouldn’t be allowed.
Warren’s planning commission said it doesn’t care what will go on inside a building that could become the city’s first mosque — it won’t let the project move ahead because of what most of its members believe would happen outside it.
But Steve Elturk — whose proposal to build the mosque and Islamic learning center at an office and retail building on Ryan was shot down in a 6-3 vote Monday — said commissioners’ concerns about parking and the prospect of a loudspeaker announcing the Muslim call to prayer had already been addressed by another city body.
Elturk said he may head to court to see if he can open the mosque, alleging that city officials’ rejection of the project had more to do with religion than with parking spaces.
“One of the things I learned is the City of Warren is notorious for these attitudes,” said Elturk, who added that the building cost close to $1 million. “I think the next step is going to be litigation, lawsuits. We need to work together to bring tolerance. I’m ready to fight this. . . ”
Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was aware Elturk was trying to locate his headquarters in Warren. He said he wasn’t surprised Elturk was turned down.
“We are aware that in the past with the City of Warren, there has been racial tension there,” Walid said. “We’re not going to jump to any conclusions that there was some type of blatant Islam-o-phobia.”