Palos Heights, Chicago: Controversy over Sale of Church to Muslims

July 19, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On July 19, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times published an article about a group of Muslims in Palos Heights who wish to buy a church and turn it into the city's first mosque, following a promised mayoral veto of a $200,000 offer for the Muslims to walk away from the project. The Al Salam Mosque Foundation plans to buy the "Reformed Church of Palos Heights building for $2.1 Million, even though many residents and some city council members had hoped to acquire the church for a new recreation center." Mayor Dean Koldenhoven vowed to veto the city council's $200,000 offer, saying that "offering a religious group cash to abandon plans for a place to worship is wrong." Koldenhoven and others insist that many "who oppose the sale to the mosque do so for anti-Muslim reasons."