Temecula City Council approves construction of new mosque

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The Temecula City Council has approved the construction of a new mosque. The vote came after midnight, at the end of a heated public meeting.

Some residents don't want the mosque to be built.

At last night's meeting, many opponents focused on traffic issues, issues over the proposed mosque's side and flood plain issues, but what's really at the core of this is many people's fears over Islam and that this mosque may somehow foster radical ideology.

There's no evidence of that. Members of the Islamic community in Temecula have gathered at another location for over 10 years, peacefully, with no incident.

A lot of the opposition is also fueled by the debate over the proposed mosque in New York City near the former site of the World Trade Center.

The mosque will be in the northwest corner of Temecula. It's a semi-rural area. There are already two other Christian churches there.

The mosque would be about 25,000 square feet, stand two stories high and have two minarets that would stand about 40 feet high. There was some concern about high issues, but even at that height, it would still be shorter than the Baptist church next door.

Opponents could file a lawsuit. Some have indicated that's the path they'd like to take, but it's unclear what grounds they might use to do that. So far, all of the mosque's critics' allegations have been refuted by the planning commission.

Mosque leaders hope to start building the first phase later this year.

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