By: Lassana Bamba
Brooklyn Park, Minn. 4/10/14: While it is true that many immigrants come to the United States to live the “American Dream,” one thing is certain, there is no definite meaning for the “American Dream,” it largely depends on the perception of the dreamer.
Owing to this fact, the US constitution protects certain rights to facilitate the “American Dream.” One of such rights is The First Amendment of the United States constitution, which protects the right to freedom of religion.
With the desire of realizing the definition of the “American Dream,” a small group of Muslims representing all Muslims in Brooklyn Park and surroundings, yesterday met with Brooklyn Park City Mayor, Jeffrey Lunde to express a desire to have an area to pray.
The group told Mayor Lunde that members of the Islamic faith are expanding across Brooklyn Park and its surroundings. They said having a worship center is their number one priority.
The group through its spokesman, Imam Mohamed Dukuly, said that based on the size of the Muslim population within the city and its surroundings, it is becoming exceedingly difficult to transport the elderly to the Mosque in North Minneapolis to perform prayer.
Imam Mohamed Dukuly further disclosed that Muslims in Brooklyn Park mainly dwell on positive attitudes that promote the community.
He said a support from the City of Brooklyn Park is paramount to their desire to having a Mosque. “We need your support to have an area of worship in the city of Brooklyn Park,” Imam Dukuly said.
For his part, the Executive Director of AIS, African Immigrant Services, Abdullah Kiatamba, indicated that having a Mosque in Brooklyn Park is a “Win-win” for the city.
For some of those who attended the meeting last night, if the Mosque project succeeds, it would be seen as projecting diversity within the city.
In response to the plight of the small group of Muslims, Mayor Jeff Lunde pledged his support for the project. “I will be glad to attend the opening ceremony,” the Mayor said.
In as much as he is willing to support the Mosque project, the Brooklyn Park City Mayor cautioned the group to follow all necessary procedures in line with city regulations.
In his closing remark, he hinted the group that Cindy Sherman, a member of the government structure of the City of Brooklyn Park, would be the right contact to begin with.
The meeting was held in the Kakata Room, a conference room named in honor of the City of Kakata, in Margibi County, Liberia.
This is not the first time the Mayor has supported the African community. Mayor Jeffrey Lunde a while ago shouldered his own transportation to Liberia to identify with the City of Kakata.
Reflecting on his friendly demeanor at the meeting last night, Mayor Lunde reminded the gathering how hot the weather was during his visit to Liberia.
The results of his fact finding mission led to the donation of a fire truck to the Liberian government. The truck was dedicated to Finance Minister, Amara Konneh in July of 2013.
Prior to this meeting, Muslims in Brooklyn Park had been in search of an area to worship. This Friday, they will for the first time perform Friday prayer at Zanewood Recreation Center, 7100 Zane Avenue, North, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 55429.
If the group is successful in finding an area within Brooklyn Park and its surroundings, the Mosque would host residents of the cities of Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, and Champlin respectively.
The group is currently dominated by West Africans, and the name of the proposed Mosque is yet to be announced.