MAYFIELD, Ky. — City officials in Mayfield have unanimously approved a request to use a building as a mosque.
The Mayfield Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the petition Tuesday from Khadar Ahmed after rejecting the same request over the summer. Board members said they turned down the August request over concerns about limited parking around the small commercial building near the city’s downtown.
Hundreds showed up for that meeting, but The Paducah Sun reported that no one spoke against the petition Tuesday.
“I think some reason and common sense had settled in on the minds of the community. And I think the community as a whole wanted to do the right thing,” said Bill Deatherage, a Hopkinsville attorney who represented Ahmed at the meeting.
The board rejected the first zoning request when opposition to a planned Islamic Center in lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center site was in the news.
Many of the 250 people at the August meeting cheered when the proposal was rejected, the newspaper reported.
Ahmed made the request on behalf of a group of Somalis who moved to Graves County to work in a chicken-processing plant. The American Civil Liberties Union got involved after the petition was initially rejected, Deatherage said.
Deatherage said he was asked by the ACLU to represent Ahmed due to concerns of religious discrimination.
Deatherage said Tuesday that most of the comments at the meeting were positive about the mosque. He said one speaker read a statement that said the “eyes of the nation” were on Mayfield.