New Hampshire: Despite no permits, mosque opens for worship in single-family home

The sentinelsource.com’s Paul Cuno-Booth calls it a “permitting hiccup.” We call it zoning jihad. It’s a tactic employed by Muslims across the U.S.: Buy a property, build a mosque without getting the proper zoning approvals or permits, deceive your neighbors, then cry Islamophobia when the city – at the behest of citizens – reject the mosque. Then leverage terror-linked CAIR for funding and unlimited legal services. Finally, partner with the DOJ to enforce the sharia on unwanting citizens. Will anything change in 2018?

House on the right converted to a mosque

via Despite permitting hiccup, Keene’s first mosque opens for worship | Local News | sentinelsource.com

Keene’s first mosque opened to worshippers earlier this month, fulfilling a goal of local Muslims who for years have made do with temporary prayer spaces.

“Here we are today, we have our own place, we conduct our worship and we can praise Allah,” Ahmad Alabbadi, a Walpole resident and active member of the local Muslim community, said in a sermon Dec. 15, during the mosque’s first Friday prayer.

Mixing in an Arabic word, Alabbadi added, “This is all qadar. It’s fate.”

 “Fate” is a fitting description for the unusual way the mosque came together.

The Masjid al Latiff and Interfaith Community Center, or MALIC Center, occupies part of a two-story house at 659 Marlboro Road/Route 101 in Keene. The property’s owner — the Shire Free Church: Monadnock — is a self-described interfaith organization whose ministers are local libertarian activists. (The Keene Board of Assessors has denied a different church-owned house tax-exempt status at least twice.)

Last summer, one of those activists, Ian B. Freeman, got to talking about the New Hampshire Muslim community with a Tennessee-based radio host named Will Coley.

Coley, 36, converted to Islam in his 20s and co-founded the religion-inspired libertarian advocacy organization Muslims4Liberty. He said he met Freeman through the Porcupine Freedom Festival, an annual libertarian gathering in Lancaster.

According to the two men, Freeman offered to donate the Shire Free Church-owned house for use as a mosque if Coley, then based in Tennessee, would relocate and become its imam.

After moving in September, Coley worked to ready a space for worship. That has involved cleaning, putting in drywall, painting and laying down carpet. At least a dozen volunteers, including non-Muslims, pitched in, he said.

The prayer space is two conjoined rooms at the front of the house. The off-white walls are adorned with dark-red trim and, in a few places, Arabic calligraphy.

A green carpet with rows of arches angles diagonally to point toward the holy city of Mecca, which Muslims face during prayer.

Behind the prayer space is a nursery room — still unfinished — for worshippers’ kids. Shelves in the nursery hold the kernel of the mosque’s library — Islam-themed picture books for kids, tomes on religion for adults and holy texts from different faiths.

The work so far has cost about $25,000, funded by individual donations and by money from the Shire Free Church, Coley said.

Muslims in the Monadnock Region have tried to establish a mosque before. According to Parvez Musani, a former area resident who used to host prayers in his basement, a previous campaign raised about $30,000 — a decent sum, but not enough to purchase property.

The donated building, along with Coley’s efforts, made the crucial difference, Alabbadi said in an interview Wednesday. “It was a generous gift.”

The local Muslim community is not large, but enough to supply a small congregation. Musani, in an August interview, estimated 30 to 40 Muslim families live in the Monadnock Region and adjacent parts of Vermont and Massachusetts.

Friday prayers held in rented rooms have tended to attract about 10 people, Alabbadi said. But he sees a permanent house of worship eventually attracting new residents to the area.

More than 20 people attended the mosque’s Dec. 15 opening, Coley said. Mohammed Ali recited the call to prayer that day. “I can’t forget that moment,” said Ali, who owns Curry Indian Restaurant in Keene.

After living nearly a decade in the city, never able to pray in a mosque, Ali said he was overcome with emotion. A few people of other faiths who had donated or volunteered labor came, and Ali thanked and hugged them with tears in his eyes.

With the prayer space mostly finished, Coley has various other renovation plans, including a room he hopes to convert to an “interfaith area” where Quakers and other minority faiths can pray.

He also has some paperwork to get to.

Coley said the Shire Free Church will transfer ownership of the Marlboro Road house to the MALIC Center within the next few weeks. He plans to apply for tax-exempt status for the property in the spring. And he expects to resolve a permitting issue with the city early next year.

In November, Coley filed an application for a sign permit with the city’s Code Enforcement Department. Plans Examiner Gary Schneider told him he could not process the application, as Coley had not filed for a change of use. The 659 Marlboro Road structure is listed in city records as a single-family home.

Coley said city employees had previously told him the sign permit application was the only required paperwork. Initially, he vowed to put up a sign in defiance of city regulations, citing the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

But he later softened his stance — in part, he said, because members of the local Muslim community were wary of confrontation.

Coley said Wednesday that he plans to file the change-of-use paperwork after he wraps up several other projects and finds the time.

Meanwhile, city officials are waiting for more information before moving ahead with a sign permit for 659 Marlboro Road.

“We’re not really sure what’s going on,” W. Rhett Lamb, the city’s planning director, said last week. “Right now we’re treating it as a single-family home. If they’re having a private prayer meeting, that’s fine.”

Despite frustrations with red tape, unexpectedly arduous renovations and New England’s frigid air, Coley said he is happy he made the move.

“Being able to see in the eyes of the local community how happy they were, how moved they were, the unfiltered joy … all that was completely worth it,” he said, “for the looks on their faces the day that we opened.”


What other business would simply be allowed to open a business without the proper permits, approvals and inspections? In a single-family home in a residential neighborhood?

PS: A Church gave the house to the Muslim who converted it to a mosque.

9 thoughts on “New Hampshire: Despite no permits, mosque opens for worship in single-family home

  1. Wake up America !!!!!!! We are well on the way to being conquered!
    “Farewell to England”
    This is an interesting “Farewell to England” list of Islamic accomplishments in that country that I thought might give you a better understanding of the insidiousness of Hijrah; that’s the takeover of a nation without going to war. Don’t think for a moment that America is not a target or that there are no American cities where Islamic and Sharia victories and takeovers have already occurred. It’s time for border control, or start planning for a very big goodbye America party
    Here’s what has already happened to England within a few years of opening their borders without entry control:
    How the British have passively succumbed to the Muslim invasion:
    Mayor of London .. MUSLIM
    Mayor of Birmingham .. MUSLIM
    Mayor of Leeds … MUSLIM
    Mayor of Blackburn … MUSLIM
    Mayor of Sheffield … MUSLim
    Mayor of Oxford .. MUSLIM
    Mayor of Luton …. MUSLIM
    Mayor of Oldham … MUSLIM
    Mayor of Rochdale … MUSLIM
    All the following achieved by just 4 million Muslims out of the 66 million population:
    Over 3,000 Muslim Mosque
    Over 130 Muslim Sharia Courts
    Over 50 Muslim Sharia Councils
    Muslims Only No-Go Areas Across The UK
    Muslim Women.. 78% don’t work and are on FREE benefits/housing
    Muslim Men… 63% don’t work and are on FREE benefits/housing
    Muslim Families… 6-8 children on FREE benefits/housing and now all UK schools are ONLY serving HALAL MEAT where a jizya tax has been paid to the muslim clerics!!

  2. Shepard and the Keene Free Church are sovereign citizens masquerading as Libertarians. Shepherd has a long antagonistic history with the city of Keene and brought the mosque to town as another way to “stick it to the man”, not as suggested as any type of charitable act. (hence the donation of the building as a mosque) The mosque is on a 2-lane highway leading out of town where there are no shoulders and little to no parking at the mosque. Coley’s plan was to open it as a day place for the homeless, again about a 2 mile hike down a shoulder-less highway (in the snow). There is a you tube video of the encounter at the city where they are informed they need a change of use application and the reaction to it. It is not in a residential area, but is a single family residence next to a 4 or 6 plex. All other structures around it are light industrial. Parking and traffic are bound to be the biggest issues for the neighbors.

    • You wrote it all whenb ypou wrote, ‘stick it to the man’! This sums up people who ride along with the hate America moslems.

      • My post was on Shepard and his flock and the logistics of the building in question. Shepard was present in the video I mentioned and has been wrangling the city for ages. I do not believe his motives are altruistic, but we will see if/when he transfers ownership of the building. I have provided information not contained in the article, now somehow I am “riding along”. I do not believe in sharia, that does not make me a hater, more along the lines of hate the sin, but love the sinner. Read into it what you want, oh that’s right, you already have.

  3. Pingback: New Hampshire: Despite having no permits, mosque opens in single-family home - Liberty Street

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