Mosque Request Sparks Debate

February 20, 2007

Author: Kenneth Fine

Source: Goldsboro News-Argus

Dr. Waheed Akhtar has to go to Raleigh to pray.

There just are not any suitable places in Goldsboro for a Muslim to worship in, he said.

So he bought some land at the corner of Wayne Memorial Drive and Best Avenue and, along with several who share his faith, asked Goldsboro City Council members to allow the construction of a mosque there.

But some residents of the surrounding neighborhood said Monday they are strongly opposed to the rezoning request.

The public hearing on the issue lasted more than an hour as several supporters and opponents took the floor, speaking at length about the pros and cons of a shift from residential to office and institutional.

Joyce Waters lives "right next to" the proposed mosque site and said potential traffic issues are a major concern for neighbors along Best Avenue.

"We are trying to preserve this residential area," she said. "I do not want to see this happen."