New mosque in Wyoming draws protest; Facebook user says 'I don't want jihadis in my neighbourhood'
A newly opened mosque in Gillette, Wyoming, is drawing protests from residents of the area, with one of them setting up an anti-Muslim page on Facebook.
"Stop Islam in Gilette" Facebook page creator Bret Colvin said, "I don't want jihadis in my neighbourhood" in an interview with Wyoming Public Radio's Miles Bryan, Raw Story reported.
The townsfolk also said they are afraid the federal government would put Syrian refugees in their community.
"We don't want to take the chance of having a problem. Why let them all in and then see what happens when you can just nip it in the bud?" said Colvin.
Bryan said in November, Colvin confronted the local mosque-goers. Members of his Facebook group even threatened to throw bacon at the mosque to show their displeasure.
Aftab Khan, who said he's been living in Gilette for almost 16 years, said there are about 30 Khans living in the town and a couple of them bought an old house and turned it into the town's mosque. The family came from Pakistan.
"The rhetoric has gotten so bad, so negative, so harsh that it's just stunning everybody. I mean, it's just unprecedented. It's never been that way for us, even after 9/11," said Khan.
He said he went to the University of Wyoming. "I mean, you can't ask for anybody who's, basically, you know, been more of a Wyoming person than me. My whole life I've been here," said Khan, who runs a hotel in town.
He said, "People have attacked my family and threatened us physically. I'm not going to sit here and deny the fact that I'm a little bit nervous and a little bit worried."
The anti-Muslim Facebook page had the message: "Stop the Islam invasion sponsored by [Wyoming governor] Matt Mead and Barack Obama. Remove the mosque and Islam school from Gillette." It recently changed its name to "Stop Forced Syrian Immigration to Gillette."
The group's focus is preventing Syrian refugees from settling in Gillette. Wyoming and Montana have not accepted any refugees since 2012.