IL: Mosque Backers Paint American Tale



Mohamed Krad is an outdoorsman. He loves to garden and fish, and his
favorite meal is a hamburger, fries and Diet Coke.

Malik Ali is a movie buff. He takes his kids on vacation to Disney World,
loves the Beatles and has a weakness for Burger King.

Ali Kutom shops at Jewel, works out regularly at Lifetime Fitness Center
and is involved in his children's Orland Youth Association soccer and
baseball teams.

Krad and Kutom are doctors; Ali is a successful Orland Park businessman.
All three live in upscale houses and drive nice cars.

"We bleed, we laugh, we cry ... I mean, we're really no different than the
next guy," the 51-year-old Ali said. "We are U.S. citizens, and we have
more in common with the general population in Orland Park than people might
think."

Their religion and their support for an effort to build a mosque in Orland
Park, however, have put Krad, Ali and Kutom in the spotlight.

"Suddenly," Ali said, "through the eyes of many we are seen not as friends,
neighbors and upstanding citizens, but as a threat to the community."

The three are the main backers behind a proposal to build a mosque in the
16500 block of 104th Avenue.

Their plan has generated an unprecedented degree of controversy in a
typically quiet and harmonious community.

Hundreds of people opposed to the mosque proposal flooded a May village
plan commission meeting. An equal number showed up at the village's May 26
planning committee meeting..

 


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