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Lino Lakes residents divided over proposed Muslim-friendly community

Lino Lakes residents divided over proposed Muslim-friendly development
Lino Lakes residents divided over proposed Muslim-friendly development 01:53

LINO LAKES, Minn. — An environmental review board will consider a controversial project in Lino Lakes on Wednesday.

Housing and businesses are proposed, but it's a mosque that's getting attention.

Neighbors packed a meeting Tuesday night, urging City Council members to consider a moratorium. Public comments lasted for at least an hour, which got heated at times.

Roughly half the room held signs that read "Slow the Grow," while the other half read "We Support the Madinah Lakes Project."  


Developers said the project would turn 156 acres of sod farm into a Muslim-friendly community in the city.

Supporters of the project said the pushback stems from Islamophobia.  

"I just find it to be a very important thing for us to stand together and allow our brothers and sisters who worship differently to have their ability to worship and their expression just as the Roman Catholics do," said Father Mike Anderson of St. Joseph's of the Lakes.

Those supporting the moratorium said more research needs to be done on the project because they're concerned with water resources, traffic and overcrowding. 


"If this is truly about religion, then please point out where any Lino Lakes resident has made one negative comment about their faith or culture. I'll wait," said resident Christina Turner.

The council did not decide whether to impose a moratorium at Tuesday's meeting.

Wednesday's project presentation in front of the environmental review board is at 6:30 p.m., and project developers have invited everyone to learn more about it.

As of Wednesday morning, the online petition against the project had more than 2,000 signatures. The petition in support of the project had nearly 1,500 signatures.

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