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Mosque planned for Creswell area raises safety concern, faith leader addresses plans

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 07:39:10-05

CRESWELL, Md. — Plans to build a mosque on a nearly 12-acre site in the Creswell area south of Bel Air is receiving some pushback online and from people living near the proposed project.

The Harford Islamic Center, a nonprofit corporation,submitted plans to Harford County to subdivide an 11.87-acre lot out of a larger 51-acre parcel at Route 543 and Nova Scotia Road.

Dr. Faisal Sayeed, president of HIC explained the organizations current plan.

“There’s a house there. There’s a barn. There’s a shed. The intention was to kind of modify those and redo those, not to change them into any superstructure,” he said.

Sayeed also touched on some of the negative remarks the mosque received on social media.

One post threatened to burn the mosque down.

“The misunderstandings expressed in these posts further underscore the urgent need for an Islamic house of worship to help correct the perception of Islam in Harford County and foster comradery among the residents of Harford County,” said Sayeed.

WMAR-2 News visited the location of the proposed mosque. Talking to people on and off-camera no one stated religious intolerance as a reason for opposition.

The main concern voiced was about traffic safety.

“What we’ve always been told that it’s just going to be a neighborhood of residential homes,” said Myra Kourey.

Kourey said her concern is about the mosques’ proposed driveway in and out of Quail Creek Court.

“We don’t want an opening to be used as an access, coming in Quail Creek or to be coming in from our development,” she said.

WMAR-2 News took the driveway concern to HIC. The organization said it is open to constructive conversations.

“We are very sensitive to it,” said Sayeed. “We are open to working with the community, whether they want a speed breaker, whether they want a parking sign, whatever concessions they want us to make we are open to that.”

The mosque’s preliminary plan is slated for review Wednesday morning by the county’s Development Advisory Committee. The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at 212 South Bond St., County Council Chambers; Bel Air, MD 21014 (Black Cube Building). It is open to the public.