Members of the Brookfield-Elm Grove Interfaith Network are coming to the defense of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s proposal to build a mosque in Brookfield, the Journal Sentinel reported as the religious leaders started a letter of support.
“This is about the rights of decent human beings to have a place to worship,” Rabbi Steven Adams of Congregation Emanu-El in Waukesha, who was drafting the letter on behalf of the group, told the Journal Sentinel.
The Islamic Society hopes the new mosque, which would have to be approved by the Plan Commission and Common Council, could eventually serve 350 congregants from western suburbs. The proposal has prompted mixed feedback from beginning, with concerns centering around traffic congestion and religious extremists. Brookfield resident Nancy Jo Baratti described her fears on Brookfield NOW.
Still, Brookfield Mayor Steven Ponto said he thinks the criticism is coming from a vocal minority of Brookfield residents. “Overall, I think Brookfield has a very highly educated, sophisticated population. And they understand that one of our great strengths is a respect for the religious rights of all people and a respect for different cultures,” he told the Journal Sentinel.
Update: For a response to Baratti’s ignorant tirade, see Brookfield NOW, 14 March 2012