Hundreds turn out for meeting on proposed mosque in Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. — Emotions ran high Monday evening as Newton County commissioners heard people’s concerns about a proposal to build a mosque in Covington.

Hundreds gathered inside the Newton County Commissioners Building to discuss the proposals for the mosque and cemetery that's supposed to be built along Highway 162.%

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“I don't trust them, no one knows what's really going on,” one man told Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez.

At times the conversation about the proposed mosque was led by emotion.

It all started before people even walked into the building.

“You don't understand the problems?” One man yelled at another woman outside the meeting.

“What problems? It hasn't been built yet,” the woman replied.

Many protesters are simply against the construction of the Islamic Mosque, which will sit on land that was purchased last year by Al Maas Al Isami in Doraville for $675,000. It was a private sale, which means it's a done deal.

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"There are 50 acres of the 135 acres that aren't accounted for. How do we not know it's an ISIS training camp?" One woman, who did not identify herself, said to Jaquez.

She claims, it's not about race or religion, it's about the fact that no one is telling them anything.

"I know property values will do down if this goes through," the woman said.

“I'm for the mosque being built here in Covington,” another meeting-goer told Jaquez.

Several who attended the meeting say they understand people are fearful of the unknown, but they just can't label every Muslim a terrorist.

"I think there is an issue of fear and people not knowing, things going on with ISIS," another meeting-goer said.

Meantime, Muslim leaders in Atlanta told Channel 2 Action News they chose to stay away from Monday's meeting.

"We received advice from a prominent member of the Newton community advising us that the presence of Muslims at the meeting might actually make matters worse, that it  might inflame the crowd," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR Georgia.