The shouts of "Sept. 11" from opponents of a proposed mosque in Orland Park
were countered by those who said they just wanted a place to pray.
After two hours with a crowd of nearly 300 crammed into a Village Hall
boardroom Wednesday night, the Planning and Economic Development Committee
of the Village Board voted unanimously to endorse the golden-domed mosque.
The proposal for the Orland Park Prayer Center now moves to the full board,
which could vote as soon as June 21.
The mosque was proposed by Muslims in the community who want to worship in
their hometown instead of having to travel to Bridgeview or Frankfort.
Though admonished by Trustee Brad O'Halloran to keep the dialogue civil,
the crowd at the raucous meeting embarrassed some officials and residents.
"This is not a reality TV event. Please be respectful of others,"
Trustee Edward Schussler, who has been involved in village government since
the 1970s, said after the meeting, "This is the most disturbing thing I
have seen in my time here."
Some of the more rowdy participants were escorted out by police. Others
invoked memories of the 2001 airline hijackings that led to the deaths of
nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in
Other opponents argued that the 22,000-square-foot mosque's location, at
16530 S. 104th Ave. in unincorporated Orland Township, would cost traffic
snarls in the area. The village would have to annex the 5-acre property...
Patricia Boldt, who lives near the site, said she feared that the estimated
50 cars for prayer services would be about 500 instead