Texas Baker Cooks-up Controversy with Muslims
December 6, 2006 § 80 Comments
Katy, TX, a township within the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan area. Population, roughly a whopping 11,800, so why is a big-time New York City Metropolitan-Muslim blogger like Abu Sahajj writing about Katy, Texas? Well, its because Katy Texas is also the home of a ridiculous civil conflict, between the Muslims of Katy, Texas and some of the local residents of the township.
As the story goes, the Katy Islamic Association (K.I.A.) has purchased 11 acres just south of interstate 10 and raised the money to build a mosque and school in the community as well. However, the K.I.A. is realizing that building a mosque in Katy may not be as smooth as expected, as some of the locals are opposed to the idea. One such local, Mr. Craig Baker a shop owner has organized a protest against the Islamic association’s efforts by holding a weekly pig race on a neighboring stretch of land not far from the building site, during jumu’ah (Friday the Muslim day of congregation).
As anyone can guess, this is a deliberate attempt to dissuade the Muslims from building their school and prayer center. For Muslims the consumption of pork is expressly forbidden, the animal is considered filthy and the tendency is to avoid contact with such animals. Though overall the community has disparaging views of the building the Houston Chronicle reports Baker saying,
“[H]e bears no malice toward Muslims, and does not object to construction of the mosque and other buildings if they comply with county codes. He charged, however, that mosque workers illegally started building a parking lot whose impermeable surface would contribute to area flooding.”
Baker claimed that the protest was inspired when the K.I.A. asked him to move his business from the neighboring area. However, the association’s board member Ahmer Feroze denies those claims in a statement also saying that they expected backlash after the purchase but not of such an intensity.
- Pig Races in Katy (R. Nasrullah, The Straight Path)
- Residents Use Pig Races to Deter Building of Mosque and comments (T. Oberg, ABC News)
- Mosque Plans Wallow in Pig Dispute (CBN News)