The Mosque Across the Street

July 7, 2016 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

What happens when a mosque moves across the street from a church in the Bible Belt?

by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran

As the morning sun illuminated his kitchen, Steve Stone poured himself a cup of coffee and picked up the local newspaper. Reading it gave him a chance to cool off after riding his bike, and the articles usually provided him with a thought or two to incorporate into the sermon he would deliver later that Sunday morning at Heartsong Church, the United Methodist congregation he had started 19 years ago in Cordova, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis.

Stone’s eyes settled on a headline at the bottom of the front page: Muslims buy land for hub in Cordova.

The paragraphs underneath said that the Memphis Islamic Center was planning to build a mosque and “a sprawling community center” in his community.

That’s interesting, he thought. I didn’t realize there were that many Muslims in Memphis.

He flipped a few pages to keep reading, and learned that the Islamic center had purchased 30 acres. Then he saw where: near the intersection of Humphrey and Houston Levee roads.

Stone closed his eyes. His stomach turned queasy.

The mosque would be directly across the street from his church.

What should I do? he wondered.

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