The All Dulles Area Muslim Society now has the permit it needs to move ahead with plans to build a new mosque in Nokesville, following roughly three years of debate and stiff opposition from people living near the proposed building.
 
The Prince William  Board of County Supervisors voted unanimously in the early morning hours of June 28 to approve a special use permit for the 22,400-square-foot mosque, which would sit on a 14-acre site at the intersection of Vint Hill Road and Schaeffer Lane and hold up to 500 people. The county’s planning commission recommended last December that the board approve the permit, though only after deferring a decision following a lengthy and contentious hearing on the matter in November.
 
The board’s meeting Tuesday night was similarly tense, and several hundred people packed the McCoart Administration Building to both support and oppose the project over the course of the roughly nine-hour meeting.
 
“It’s the American dream to have a place of your own, and that includes a place of your own to worship,” Rizwan Jaka, chairman of the Muslim society’s board, said in an interview. “So this is very encouraging, and we appreciate the diligence of everyone involved. We think it can be a win for everyone.”
 
Congregants with the Muslim society, commonly known as ADAMS and based in Sterling, stressed that the mosque will give Prince William County Muslims a much-needed place to worship. The group currently holds services at a hotel in Gainesville, but people like Nadeem Bukhari say that doesn’t compare to having a full-fledged community center.
 
“Our main objective is to find a place closer to us,” Bukhari, a seven-year Haymarket resident, said in an interview. “This would be so much more convenient.”
 
Many other supporters framed the debate as a matter of religious liberty and tolerance, urging the board to treat county Muslims fairly and give them an equal chance to practice their religion.
“Instead of embracing our diversity as a county, too often we reject it,” said Atif Qarni, a county middle school teacher and political activist. “We’re demanding our fair share here.”
 
The majority of the mosque’s detractors grounded their opposition in concerns about its impact on traffic or the character of the county’s “Rural Crescent,” taking great pains to emphasize that their stance had nothing to do with any negative feelings toward Muslims. However, a handful of speakers did raise spurious claims about ADAMS’s connections to groups like Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood.
 
“Everyone was very respectful, except for a few divergent, false comments,” Jaka said. “This community is loyal to this country, and anyone creating false suspicion about us is doing a disservice to their fellow Americans.”
 
The biggest sticking point in the debate was over the Muslim society’s request for access to a county sewer line, rather than installing a dedicated septic system for the building. County staff recommended that supervisors require ADAMS to use septic instead, and many Nokesville residents expressed concern that giving the mosque public sewer access would break with county policy — Prince William’s comprehensive plan currently severely restricts development in the area in order to protect its rural setting.
 
“You need to enforce your existing land-use policies, and protect the Rural Crescent,” said Curt Hackett, an activist with Friends of the Rural Crescent Energized, a group opposing the mosque project.
 
Jaka argued that avoiding the installation of a septic system would better protect the site’s trees and other natural features, but supervisors representing the western end of the county, like Jeanine Lawson, R-Brentsville, and Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, were dismayed over the sewer connection request.
 
Candland believes that ADAMS didn’t present “any data or extenuating circumstances” to justify why it needed that public sewer connection, while Lawson noted that other potential suitors hoping to develop the site looked elsewhere once they learned that sewer line access is restricted in the Rural Crescent.
 
“Why should this board give an advantage to this applicant when other potential applicants walked away?” Lawson said.
Accordingly, she proposed approving a permit for ADAMS without a connection to public sewer. Yet At-Large Chairman Corey Stewart worried that the board might run afoul of federal law by rejecting ADAMS’s request.
 
After previously allowing two other churches in the area to get access to sewer lines, Stewart wondered if the board might seem to be “inconsistently” applying county policy and therefore be liable in future legal action. It took some complex procedural maneuvering, but supervisors ultimately voted 5-3 to allow the group to hook up to the sewer line — Candland, Lawson and Ruth Anderson, R-Occoquan, cast the dissenting votes.
 
“While it’s important we have guidelines, the reason we built in the ability to make exceptions is because sometimes we need to,” said Supervisor Marty Nohe, R-Coles. “If ever we are going to make an exception, it should be for a religious institutions...I didn’t vote for this because of a potential lawsuit, but because it’s the right thing to do.”
 
The other prime concern from Anderson and people living near the mosque’s proposed site was the project’s potential impact on traffic congestion — county staff assured supervisors that the new facility wouldn’t adversely affect the area’s roads, but many residents living along Schaeffer Lane believe the extra traffic from mosque services could create havoc for neighbors.
 
Yet the project’s supporters noted that ADAMS has already agreed to adjust the time of its Friday services so worshippers aren’t caught in the traffic snarl produced by the dismissal of nearby Patriot High School.
 
“The fact that the mosque is willing to accommodate the needs of our school system shows they’re going way beyond what they need to do to meet the needs of the community,” said school board member Justin Wilk of the Potomac District. “I’m not sure other institutions would agree to something like that.”
 
But even with the special use permit in hand, Jaka notes that ADAMS has many years before it can open the mosque to worshippers. Yet, by avoiding any further delays Wednesday, he feels confident that Nokesville will be home to ADAMS someday.
 
“We respect the process, and God teaches us patience,” Jaka said. “I hope that this will end up making us stronger as a county, and as a community.”

(33) comments

CCW

Anyone that believes that the American Dream still rules the day in Prince William County, Virginia desperately needs to see a psychiatrist.

Prepare for several days travel if you expect to find one that speaks fluent English.

EdP

I thought part of the American dream was freedom to practice ones religion...I guess that only applies to Christians in your view.

CCW

The American Dream does not give any person or organization the right to ignore the customs, laws and will of the American people.

But that is precisely what Prince William County businesses and elected politicians have been doing for several decades now while at the same time wholesaling their sneakiness under the guises of religion or anything else that they can to pit people against each other.

Why did this church insist on a certain spot to build their Mosque?
Why did the PWC Board of Supervisors hold their volt early in the morning?
Why have the majority of the articles published about this situation leaned towards supporting the Mosque?
What have those who opposed it been more or less demonized by the same publications?

For starters follow the money trails along with the continued sellout of Prince William County (and America).

In this deal there is a slithering snake on the ground that a bunch of people could walk under with their hands up. And none of what they are up to has anything to do with denying anyone their freedom to practice their religion, freedom of choice, what bath room they can use or anything else.

EdP

"Church"? Seriously?
They held the vote early in the morning because it was after a public hearing and all those who signed up, got to speak. If the same had been done at the school board meeting, that vote would also be after midnight but the outcome would be the same.

EdP

Church: a building used for public Christian worship.

S424

@CCW. Allow me to answer your questions.

1) Why did the church insist on a certain spot to build their Mosque?

The "church" is actually a religious organization called All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS). They chose to build their Mosque on the subject land because they purchased it from the County about four years ago. They applied for the special use permit, just like any Church, Temple, etc., would do. They went through all of the prerequisite requirements, had numerous meetings with the County's Planning Commission and other Local Government officials to ensure that their proposed place of worship was in compliance with County regulations. In other words, they did what every Church in the County has done.

2) Why did the PWC Board of Supervisors hold their vote early in the morning?

Are you serious with this one? Come on. Be better. The meeting started at 7:30 PM. People began lining up at 4:00 PM outside of the building with the intent to sign up and speak. The "Citizen's Time" of speaking went all the way until 3 AM, after which the Board met for discussion and then had their public vote.

3) Why have the majority of the articles published about this situation leaned towards supporting the Mosque?

Are you suggesting there is some conspiracy brewing in Prince William County local governments as well as the local media to push a Mosque through? That's pretty far-fetched. The articles state what happened, what was applied for, what the opposition was, what the Board's decision was, and a few quotes from people both for and against the Special Use Permit. Simple.

4) What have those who opposed it been more or less demonized by the same publications?

Provide evidence of this first before you make baseless claims. Show me a publication that has demonized someone that was opposing the Mosque. You won't be able to, because you are lying and making stuff up. You know, the ironic part of your last question is that people like YOU that make baseless claims, don't do research, and just spew nonsense are the ones that give those that are opposing the Mosque a worse reputation. At least some people that opposed it had valid concerns, such as about the sewer line or concerns about traffic. You come out here throwing out dumb questions and conspiracies about an "early morning vote". Get real.

I can't believe I just wasted five minutes responding to this, but I can't tolerate lies and dumb conspiracy theories to be floated out there by uninformed people.

timt

"lies and dumb conspiracy theories to be floated out there by uninformed people" That's CCW in a nutshell.....

CCW

Ref S424: The All Dulles Area Muslim Society applied for an "exception" to the rules. They did not follow the normal routine that any / all other organizations do. There were and are plenty of other locations that ADAMS could have opted for and their conveniently located mosque would already have been built. As far as their current location goes it would have sold in a matter of days.

The ADAMS chose to frame opposition to their mosque as some people denying them their freedom to worship and/or intolerance of the Muslim faith.

My comment regarding the media's bias favoring the mosque issue over those who opposed it was based primarily on local articles (including Inside Nova) here and there for several years. If you want specifics do your own research.

I suggest a starting point could be following the September 11th 2001 terrorists attacks Muslims nationwide that have demanded exceptions to the rules; like taxpayer funded foot baths and behavioral changes to traditional American customs, religious holidays and social values.

It appears that what you are not able to tolerate is anyone that doesn't agree with your ideas, thoughts and viewpoints. When they do you accuse them of lying and making up dumb conspiracy theories to be floated out there to uninformed people. In other words they aren't as intelligent and informed as you. Hence, why do you waste your time then?

Now in your view if all of this makes me anti-mosque, anti-Muslim etc. then the answer might be yes. Yes only if you apply and include the same thinking to the hordes of illegal Hispanics, Asians and middle easterners that have been given tons of exceptions that walk all over the careers, families, rights and freedoms of American citizens by Prince William County businesses and elected politicians.

Concerned Virginian

You're a bigot 💯, you're a racist 👰, you look 👀 like Richard Spencer 💃.. You're a klansman 💋 💅. Everything 🔁 about you ☞ is despicable 💯! Did you hate 💎 those minorities 👢 ?
Oh, you're rallying for hate 👱 ! They eat 🍽 him up 🔝 EVERY🕛SINGLE🕧TIME🕗 she's on that damned 👹 podium 🏁.She 😡ftsdbsds😣. She could walk 👣 out there in a fucking 😠 diaper 👶 and they'll 👥 be like 🗣: "CCW! 👰 Your hate 👄 is beautiful! 😍".

swandive

When English becomes the official language of the US, you MIGHT have an argument....

PWCPSRetiree

PWC continues it's descent from the desirable, family-friendly community it was 25 years ago, operating under the rule of law, into an area that will be avoided by those who can afford to live elsewhere. It is sad for those of us who remember what PWC once was to watch the decay over the years. Cowardly local government reps, on both the school board and BOSupervisors, who are afraid of lawsuits or prepping to run for higher office, are to blame. SAD. In 10 years PWC will be little more than a 3rd world country.

insidebugs

What PWC once was? Apparently you havent lived here long enough. PWC once was the armpit of Northern VA. In the 80s it was: car dealerships on 28, Woodbridge, junkyards and poor white trash.

CCW

What is poor white trash..?

Ted Manboobs

Several cuts above Third Worlders.

Lawson is clueless

It is so funny that the same Republicans who voted against the application are the same ones who preach Religious Freedom. If this had been a Mega Chirch or a Mormon Church they would be holding bible sessions to pray for its approval.

EdP

They already did... St Catherine's on 15 north of Dominion Valley. Massive complex with a school.

Ted Manboobs

Are the Mormons or Megachurch people preaching hatred and violence? They don't act that way. On the other hand, too many Moslems have been acting that way.

Localrider

Prince William County is following the general trend happening today. They bowed down rather than be called racists by the liberals. Get used to it folks, because decisions like this all in the name of political correctness are the future.

S424

Haha grow up. How was this a "politically correct" decision?

An S.U.P. was applied for. The entity went through different versions of the planned Mosque with the County's planning commission. This process started three years ago. They changed various specifications to make sure it was in accordance with what the commission wanted and based on numerous traffic and environmental studies. The planning commission then approved their plans and it went to the Board of Supervisors for final approval. Both sides were heard, all factors were discussed including VDOT sending personnel, the State, and other firms that conducted research. The citizens of the county were listened to all the way past 3AM. The Board took a vote and decided to approve based on freedoms that we have and specifications of the County's requirements.

Stop acting like a child and talking nonsense. What special favors were given? Speak with facts or don't speak at all. You sound like a whiny child.

HD

And why are we letting it be the future? What's it take for us to be listened to and heard and to have our concerns come first instead of these people?

jna

USA has got to stop fighting wars in the Third World. Americans have also got to boycott "Nanny Newsie" Media whose owners and publishers live on gated estates and tell us we have to be tolerant of so-called religions whose adherents at best would make us conform to their beliefs if they had the power to do so and at worst would kill us for being unbelievers.

FormerMuslim

I am firm believer that ADAMS has a right to build a house of worship as any other religion would as guaranteed by the Constitution.

However what I find very objectionable is the tone and rhetoric of trying to state that these Muslims are just like every other neighbor. The faith itself is very flawed and sexist. The hijab is not empowering. It is repressive to women and it teaches them to hide their sexuality or face shame. It literally reduces women to a sexual object who must cover up or draw the "eyes of lustful" men. This ADAMS Mosque will actively engage in sexual segregation during prayers and other functions. The separation of men and women leads the youth to tremendous amounts of sexual frustration and this in turn leads to focusing natural youthful sexual vigor towards extremist views as they try to combat natural urges by focusing on their "Deen" even more so. This is not always the case of course, but the fact a religion that treats an outdated book, The Quran as the literal word of God with no room for re-interpretation or modernization is highly suspect as well.

The other thing which bothers me about the ADAMS organization is that they readily accept money and donations from Wahhabist leaning organizations from Saudi Arabia. Some of the things I've heard in the Khutbahs in their Mosque in regards to global politics is highly troubling for a group that is trying to act like they're your "friendly" neighbor.

They have every right to build a mosque and worship. What they don't have a right to is the exemption of criticism of their backwards faith under the guise of Islamaphobia. This community will gain a lot more respect when they treat their wives and daughters on par with their sons and brothers. They will gain respect if they can see past their bias that they have from accepting donations from Wahabbi folks from Saudi Arabia. They'll achieve respect when they push for reformation in their backwards religion and realize that the Quran is flawed, and not perfect and hold their own accountable to a more modern up to date way of life. This is what needs to be discussed, and it is these issues with Islam that will draw critics to issues like this because simply put the faith is inherently incompatible with the Western way of life. As a former Muslim this has been my opinion on it, that is all.

john2017

I guess the neighbors feelings for Islam is finally coming out. No more traffic and septic issues? (which was all a coverup to try to reject the SUP). I have seen the hateful messages written by the extremist group "FORCE" hope they can go back to the true teachings of Jesus realize that it is better to love then hate. I hope we can all come together as a community stop the hate towards religious groups. What proof do you have that adams took any money from any extremest groups? and would you call nuns wearing a scarf as "not empowering" and these religious groups with nuns as "flawed and sexist"? Please stop spreading hate

EdP

Tell me, how many women priests are there? How many women popes have there ever been? Talk about the patriarchy. Christian treatment of non-believers has been barbaric and still is where they attempt to beat the gay out of a fellow worshiper or ex-communicate family members for non-belief.

ugh

Ccw-get off your computer and show up at a meeting before you spew-Former Muslim -as you should know all 3 major religions in the county adhere to the subjugation of women-if you think me wrong pick up the Torah,Bible and the Quaran-That said Thankfully we have a 1st Amendment

FormerMuslim

Yes they do, but the other 2 major religions have undergone reformation. Islam teaches that it is perfect and Muhammad delivered the final word of God as he is the last Prophet.

I think all organized religion should go the way of the Dodo, but Judaism and Christianity aren't stoning women and throwing gays off buildings. Islam is. The faith needs modern reformation is my only point here. To say otherwise is sticking your head in the sand.

Ted Manboobs

Do "all 3 major religions" except money from Wahabbists and other terrorists?

VK

Good point.

jna

How about an answer to a simple question? It's 92 degrees. This is the United States. Why do I see Muslim women outdoors covered from head to foot in multiple layers of clothing? Yes, Islam is a backward religion, and its main activity insofar as I can ascertain is engaging in jihads somewhere in the world and recruiting Muslims from everywhere as jihadists.

Who to blame for the socio-economic mess America is becoming? The 1% (3.3 million) Americans who own everything and control everything for their insatiable appetite for slave wage immigrant labor, subsidized by a disappearing American middle class.

adele

If Islam is such a wonderful religion why did the Genral Assembly pass legislation that went into effect today making female genital mutilation, as practiced by Muslims, a crime?

JM

I completely agree that the 1%, 2%, or 3% who own America are addicted to slave wage immigrant labor. Until recently I ate at a restaurant that produced fabulous pizza. Last time I ordered pizza there the pizza was a soggy greasy mess. What happened? Owner was "paying the the pizza chef and cooks too much" and replaced them with immigrants who had no experience cooking. Has been happening all over the USA for decades. Wonder why kids can't get summer jobs? I don't.

HD

I am so angry with the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Why must we continue to kowtow to Islam - here they had an opportunity to help prevent infiltration (there is no integration here in reality) into our society of a culture and religion that is 100% contradictory to Democracy and Freedom. They already had a mosque on Hoadly Road - one of their 'centers' - and we the tax payers pay for police presence every Friday to let them in and out of that facility. This is just another example of Americans giving in and giving our country over to Islam - exactly why they come here. Let them go have dreams and 'religious freedom" in the Middle East. I don't want them in my country. I don't want them in my county. I sure as hell don't want them to have more mosques where I live with my family. President Trump's travel ban was the wrong thing - he should have banned all Visas to Muslims. The 'legal' immigrants are a far more serious threat to this country than all the illegal immigrants from south of the border.and as an American citizen I want it stopped!

VK

Special Use Permits are being use to undermine the Comprehensive Plan and existing zoning. Our beautiful county is turning into a mishmosh of hastily approved SUPs that undermine the long term vision for this county. You should watch the last hour of the hearing: Verizon channel 37 runs it as well as go to PWC BOCS page and look for the April 27 2017 hearing. There is interference by the chairman Stewart to influence the 4-4 vote against the sewer. He had his own agenda, and wanted a specific outcome.The motion to reconsider was invalid and Robert's Rules were thrown out the window. I hope the truth comes out, complete misapplication of rules to change the outcome. Disgusting.

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