NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio — The West Cleveland Muslim Association is celebrating, after North Ridgeville City Council approved a new project. It will be one of the largest mosques and community centers in the area.
In the packed meeting room, the residents came in to see what would become of the project. The critics voiced their concerns about increased traffic and parking.
“To do a traffic study to see how it will affect the neighboring businesses. Maybe, the times of day, the businesses have peak traffic,” said Kirsten Hill, resident.
Despite their concerns, the North Ridgeville Council members voted in favor of the project.
“The emotion is running so much. We’ve been trying so hard for five, six years,” said Hamid Hasan, West Cleveland Muslim Association Board Secretary. “For us to get this far is a huge win.”
He said his community looked at churches closing down and other properties, calling it a long, hard journey. In regard to those who spoke out against them, the Muslim community remained positive.
“Our job is to present our culture, and our religion in a proper fashion, so we can gain them and show them this is not what you think,” said Fares Raslan, West Cleveland Muslim Association Vice President.
The new mosque will be on Center Ridge Road in the east side of the city.
“It’s a vacant piece of property, nice looking building, so we’ll approve the property there, and we’ll welcome them, just like anybody else,” said Kevin Corcoran, North Ridgeville City Council President.
Raslan said the prayer section of the community center should be completed within 12 months.
The West Cleveland Muslim Association will be holding a fundraiser for the new up and coming mosque on April 15th at Wagner’s of Westlake.
For the past five years, WCMA raised north of a million dollars for a place they can worship, Raslan told FOX 8 News.
“It’s a good project that improves upon an existing vacant lot and will provide a very nice looking building and it will welcome new people to our community,” said North Ridgeville City Council President Kevin Corcoran.
Locals tell us that nearly a dozen homes have hit the market and are for sale in the vicinity. Furthermore, the Century Tavern, a 200 year old building, across the street from the new mega mosque has permanently closed all of a sudden and the owner will not comment.