Letter: Carmel should embrace religious diversity

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Editor,

I am writing to commend (Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard) for your support of the mosque in West Carmel. A local media report said that you viewed it as a milestone in the city’s cultural diversity.

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, in Clifton, a neighborhood surrounding the University of Cincinnati. On Clifton Avenue, there were two mosques, both located in historic older homes that they had purchased and renovated. I walked to my Catholic school every day past the mosques. There were never any incidents or disruptions. For many, many years, they co-existed quietly with their residential neighbors without any issues. I’m not sure if they are still there, but there were never any protests or demonstrators. It was just one of the many churches (or religious places) along Clifton Avenue, which had Catholic churches, Presbyterian churches and others.

I believe the only thing I noticed as a child was that eventually the mosques had to build parking lots behind their houses, as Clifton Avenue was a narrow, two-lane street that couldn’t handle a great deal of parking.

I live a few miles from 141st Street and Shelbourne Road, so I am not an immediate neighbor of the mosque and don’t know if there are other issues to cause so much dissent from the neighborhood. I hope it is not religious animosity. That would make me ashamed to be a resident of Carmel. Carmel must be a community that opens its arms to people of different faiths and races.

Diane Breier, Carmel

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