Earlier this month, the Kennesaw City Council (in Georgia) voted down a proposed Islamic center located in a strip mall… but even that was an obstacle in itself:
… when the time came, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Matthews had trouble getting the council to take a vote at all. No member would second the motion to proceed.
After several very awkward pauses, the council finally voted. Four of the five members voted “no”.
Why would they say no when the Muslims fulfilled all the requirements of any group looking to acquire the space? Council member Debra Williams (below) made clear this had nothing to do with anti-Islamic prejudice:
Williams said she voted against the application because she did not think a religious center should operate inside a retail shopping center.
“I believe it’s a retail space. It’s as plain and simple as that,” Williams said.
Just one problem with that:
Yet Williams and all four other council members voted unanimously in July to allow a Pentecostal church in a retail center when the council approved Redeemed Christian Fellowship Church to use a 4,000 square-foot unit in a center on the corner of Ben King Road and Cherokee Street.
Don’t you understand? The rules just don’t apply to Christians because they’re special.
Well, there’s finally a happy ending to this story. The council members who voted no weeks ago have changed their minds. They said it’s because of legal advice they received from their attorney… though I’m sure the fact that the criticism they received for their hypocrisy from everyone who heard this story played a part in their decision.
Now, those council members who voted no say they approve, citing just a newly adopted vision statement focused on creating a welcoming environment and a more inclusive city.
Yep, inclusive and welcoming… but only after city officials were caught not being inclusive and welcoming.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Justin for the link. Large portions of this article were posted earlier)