Plans to expand a local mosque in Mobile are one step closer to becoming reality.
The Mobile City Planning Commission gave the green light for the project after years of back and fourth between the Islamic Society of Mobile and area residents, some of whom are frustrated by the plans.
Shafik Hammami, president of the Islamic Society of Mobile, believes some of the opposition was based in religious intolerance.
He claims some have even cited his son as a reason against the expansion during city discussions about the mosque. Omar Hammami was placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list until he was recently taken down and presumed dead.
Residents who live near the current mosque on East drive across from the University of South Alabama insist it’s a logistics issue and not personal.
Residents cited overflow parking on the streets and neighboring lawns and a congregation that is already too large for the site as reasons against the expansion.
Hammami said he is proposing a modern building that would benefit and beautify the neighborhood.
Planning officials insist there is enough space and parking spots with the new design, adding that it would be up to code.
Plans to expand the mosque have been introduced in the past but were shut down.
Residents have 15 days to appeal the decision and go back to the city council with it, which they say they intend to do.
FOX10 News reporter Andrew Perez will have