HORN LAKE, Miss. – Horn Lake’s elected leaders have given a thumbs down to what would have been the city’s first mosque.
A Memphis business owner had applied to build the mosque on a vacant plot of land on Church Road between Horn Lake and Fogg Roads — a stretch of road with at least three churches.
But city planners rejected plans for the mosque in February, and Tuesday night, aldermen voted 5-1 to uphold that decision.
Alderman John Jones cited concerns about additional traffic, possible noise ordinance violations and even potential fire hazards.
“The water is not sufficient in that area to sprinkle the building,” Jones said.
Residents had previously expressed concerns that the mosque might install loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayer.
“Horn Lake High School’s less than three miles from here. I would sure hate to see our students over there having to hear these speakers,” said one man.
Others expressed concern about having a mosque in their neighborhood.
“By the grapevine, I hear they’re not subject to our laws, they’re subject to their laws,” said Charles Elmore at a February planning commission meeting.
“I’m okay with that. I feel like everybody should be able to practice their religion the way they see fit,” said Liz Bone, who lives down the road from the proposed mosque.
The man behind the mosque declined WREG’s request for an interview but suggested anti-Muslim sentiment was the real reason the mosque was rejected. He said he plans to take the matter to court.
Jones denies that claim.
“Nobody in the area wants to have the problems that could arise,” Jones said at Tuesday’s meeting.