Berman: Islamic Cultural Center Saga Shakes Up West Bloomfield
The sale of Eagle Elementary School in West Bloomfield Township should be a fait accompli, a $1.1 million real estate deal that closed more than a year ago, creating a new home for the Islamic Cultural Association and a funding bonus for the Farmington School District.
Instead, the 2011 sale has spawned a prolonged and explosive controversy over the Islamic group's plans for a new mosque and minaret and rattled West Bloomfield's sense of itself as a tolerant and diverse community, writes Laura Berman in the Detroit News.
Long home to the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit and the Chaldean Cultural Center, dozens of churches and synagogues, a vibrant and growing African-American population and other minorities, this was a community where cultures melded.
Now, you can knock on doors near the school and hear anger and fear.