West Chicago Home – Muslim Prayer Center Controversy

Would you want the home next door to you converted into a religious facility?  I know I wouldn’t.  This is exactly what is being attempted with this West Chicago home.  This article was published in the Daily Herald today.

The controversy stems from the unapproved use and conversion of the home in West Chicago to a Muslim prayer center.  Neighbors of the home are at odds with the leaders of The Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs who see no issue with using the residential property as a religious facility.

To me, the article makes it sound as though this is a home in a typical suburban neighborhood. The home looks as though it very well could be found in such a neighborhood, but this is not the case. The property is actually located directly off Army Trail Road (a fairly busy roadway in DuPage). The image below is a birds-eye view of the property in question…

Muslim Prayer Center in West Chicago
28W774 Army Trail Road near West Chicago
Birds eye view of muslim center in west chicago
This image was captured using Microsoft's Bing Maps Service

The Muslim Center property is to the left of the orange push-pin.  It is somewhat obscured by trees.  As you can see from this image, the property is NOT in a typical suburban neighborhood. It does appear that there is a commercial property (a nursery) directly across Army Trail Road.

Still, I do not see the rationale in using this residential property as a religious center.  It seems to be more bother than it’s worth, especially when there are many other available properties in the area that are more suitable.  This property has a shared driveway with the residential home behind it.  There isn’t sufficient parking available for a religious facility.  There could very well be traffic issues involved with getting in and out of the property.

So why the firm focus on THIS West Chicago home?  Why go through all the hassle of having the property rezoned and reconfigured to make this work?  It truly is like trying to force a square-peg in a round hole.  I don’t get it.