Proposed E. Idaho mosque provokes religious debate

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - A planning and zoning commission meeting concerning turning a Mexican restaurant into an Islamic center in the eastern Idaho city of Pocatello turned into a religious discussion.

The Idaho State Journal reports that about 100 people on Thursday attended the hearing involving a request to turn the old El Jacalito Mexican restaurant into a mosque on South Fifth Avenue.

Hearing officer Jim Mullen tried to limit comments to planning and zoning concerns but wasn't successful.

Jamal Mustafa is a doctor from Portneuf Medical Center and a native of Somalia. He says an Islamic center is needed to meet the growing needs of Muslim students at Idaho State University.

But others told the commission they feared for their safety if the Islamic Center is approved. One woman says she'd move away.


Information from: Idaho State Journal