Kathleen E. Foley earned a PhD in city and regional planning from Cornell University and is a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “Not in Our Neighborhood” and “Building MosquesMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit... in America” are two companion reports in response to the controversy surrounding the so-called “Ground Zero mosqueMasjid (plural masajid) in Arabic means “place of prostration,” or the place where Muslims bow in prayer; in English, this word has become “mosque.” A masjid contains a prayer hall in which there is a mihrab or prayer niche, and a minbar or pulpit...,” also known as Park 51. The reports examine federal law related to religious land use developments and serve as best practice guides for municipalities and faith communities addressing opposition to mosque proposals.
“Not in Our Neighborhood” is intended for municipal planners, attorneys, review board members and elected officials, and offers strategies for complying with federal regulations, addressing development issues specific to mosques, managing and reducing conflict, and achieving positive outcomes for varied stakeholders.
“Building Mosques in America” provides Muslim communities with practical guidance on development considerations, site selection, effective communication, and navigating municipal approval processes. The reports contextualize ongoing mosque controversies in a thirty-year crescendo of opposition and assess the influence of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the current American sociopolitical climate. Recommendations are based on findings in case studies of mosque developments from across the United States, and lay out a process for achieving compromise and understanding.
The research was funded by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and The Barakat Foundation.
Selected Links and Publications
- ISPU Fellow webpage: Kathleen E. Foley
- Report: “Building Mosques in America: Strategies for Securing Municipal Approvals,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (October 2010) [.pdf]
- Report: “‘Not in Our Neighborhood’: Managing Opposition to Mosque Construction,” Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (October 2010) [.pdf]