An update on the Lilburn mosque - a replica of a shrine to a Muslim
holy warrior in Iraq (where more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers have been killed).
When expansion plans were denied, the harassment of infidels began, the legal jihad kicked in, and apparently the Islamic intimidation
has continued. ROPMA.
Lilburn’s Hood Road carries new Gwinnett into old Gwinnett. The mile of asphalt begins with a mosque at U.S. 29 and turns into a byway of houses, trees and gardens.
But now, when the sun goes down, tension grows in this tidy, middle-class neighborhood.
Some residents opposed to a mosque expansion on Hood Road say for the past seven months, they’ve been the frequent targets of harassment, mostly by those they describe as “Middle Eastern men”. But a founder of the mosque says the claims are unfounded and the city’s mayor, who lives on Hood Road, hasn’t witnessed anything unusual.
Nonetheless, residents have reported vehicles traveling the road at night with occupants yelling, making obscene gestures, snapping photos, even confronting two women in their driveway.
Since November, when city leaders ruled against a local Muslim congregation’s plans to expand, the Lilburn Police Department has received 21 calls of suspicious activity along Hood Road.
Lilburn police officials say they have investigated every claim and patrolled Hood Road around the clock for two months starting in April, when reports started to escalate.
Still, residents say, the harassment is real. Some have installed security camera systems. Others are carrying guns.
“A lot of people are locked and loaded because they don’t know what’s going to happen,” resident Angel Alonso, 46, said. “We have a feeling somebody is going to get hurt.”
Residents say the harassment started Nov. 18, the same day the Lilburn City Council rejected the congregation’s proposal for a 20,000-square-foot mosque, cemetery and gym at U.S. 29 and Hood Road. The council’s decision has since sparked a federal religious discrimination lawsuit against the city.
After the meeting in Lawrenceville, resident Janie Hood said she was followed and boxed in on U.S. 29 by a van and sport utility vehicle full of “Middle Eastern” males, according to a police report. The vehicles were pulled over. Hood didn’t pursue the matter further, the report said.
But Hood said she didn’t drop it. Since March, she said she has spoken three times to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating.
Now the 56-year-old Hood, whose father and grandfather built Hood Road, won’t sleep at her house at night, not since an attempted break-in in late December, she said. And on April 23, Hood said five vehicles pulled in front of her property. Two to three men exited and approached, according to a police report. Hood’s daughter, Christi Nichols, who feared for her safety, grabbed a firearm and told the men to leave, the report said.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” Hood said. “All we get from the Police Department is, ‘Stay in your house.’ We will stay in our house, but we should haven’t to.”