Last month, some Hoover residents were in Birmingham Weekly's hot seat
, owing to the fact that insubstantial concerns about traffic congestion were being used to stonewall the proposed construction of a Muslim worship center. About 150 residents met on June 25 to discuss plans for a petition and letter-writing campaign against the center, which would be built near The Preserve, an upscale real estate development that abuts the 250-acre Moss Ross Nature Preserve (and whose website features photographs of several attractive, decidedly Caucasian people). As one Hoover resident quoted in The Birmingham News
put it, it is probably easier to speak out against traffic — something everyone hates — than it is to speak out against Muslims, particularly in an age where followers of Islam are subject to such widespread bigotry.
The controversy began after developer Lou Passarella presented a traffic study to the Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission. The proposed worship center would be 11,500-square feet on a 4.8 acre lot at the intersection of Al Seier Road and Sulphur Springs Road. The commission will revisit the issue in a public hearing that begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Hoover Muncipal Building.