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Plan For Islamic Center In Plymouth Stirs Controversy

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (WCCO) -- An Islamic Community Center is one step closer to moving into a Plymouth neighborhood, but not everyone in town is happy about it.

A downtown Plymouth post office doesn't use most of the space in their building and it's for sale. So, the Northwest Islamic Community Center made an offer to buy it.

That move brought a rare crowd into the Plymouth Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.

It's because the Islamic group would like to share the building with the post office, leasing it back for rent, which means prayer services and postal services would be in the same building.

During a public hearing on whether the building should be used for religious purposes, citizens sent strong messages -- on both sides.

"Aiding the enemy is treason," said one man opposed to the center.

"Those who are, you know, do not understand the religion, they are a small minority," said a man in favor of the center. "I hope we can reach out to them, and I hope they can come visit us and know us in person."

The Planning Commission gave unanimous approval for a conditional-use permit, which they believe can be used for religious reasons. They called it a win for both the Islamic center and the post office, which needed to sell the space.

The City Council will make the final decision next week.

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