Leaders at the mosque said there's been an increase in worshippers since the place was built in 1992.
“We have our student population that comes from the university, but we have a lot of families that have moved into Edmond and need a larger place to worship,” Adam Soltani, with CAIR Oklahoma said. But leaders said they didn't claim this victory without some hard-fought and hurtful battles.
In previous Edmond city council meetings, they were met with opposition from some metro church leaders. And just last month their front door was vandalized with bacon. Pork is offensive to Muslims.
“It was really sad and unfortunate to see some people approach the proposed expansion with hatred and fear,” Soltani told News 9. Since then they have increased security and tried to meet the opposition with education. And it apparently paid off. The city said mosque leaders can knockdown two buildings to make way for parking and add another fellowship hall, taking the mosque from about 700 square feet to more than 4,000 square feet.
“That fellowship hall will definitely allow, not only for worship services and community gatherings, but will even allow the Muslim community to serve the broader Edmond community,” Soltani said.
They're improvements that Soltani said are well worth what they've overcome. The duplex that is getting demolished to make way for parking is owned by the Islamic Society and all five of its tenants will have to find a new place to live.