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Grading to Begin For Mosque in Temecula

Grading is set to begin this week for phase one of the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley. The mosque will be constructed on Nicolas Road in Temecula.

This story was edited Oct. 7, 11:18 a.m. to clarify the information in the article.

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Ceremonial dirt was tossed recently at the future site of Temecula’s newest house of worship, the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley.

Grading is scheduled to begin this week in preparation for the slab of a 4,100- square-foot building that will serve as phase one of the mosque, according to Hadi Nael, chairman of the construction committee for the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley.

The city of Temecula granted ICTV its grading permit Oct. 4 with the stipulation that the slab is poured by Dec. 1, Nael said during an interview with Patch Friday at the Nicolas Road site.

Originally from Lebanon, Nael moved to Murrieta 23 years ago and was among the founding families of ICTV 14 years ago. As such, the reality brought by a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the long-planned facility has been emotional for him.

“It has been a blessing to be a part of it,”  said Nael, who served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley from 2010 to 2012.

The congregation is about 180 members strong and currently meets in a commercial building on Hobie Circle in Murrieta. Its members are funding the project, he said.

“This is from the money we have collected over the last 14 years,” Nael said. “From the ladies—we called them sisters—who took the gold necklaces from their necks and gave it to the mosque.

From the little girl who gave her bracelet and the 7-year-old boy who took money out of his piggy bank—we don’t have any rich uncles or rich friends. This is basically everybody.”

Nael has been on the mosque construction committee since 2007.

In December 2010 and January 2011, the congregation went through marathon public hearings with the city of Temecula prior to getting approval to build.

Some members of the public were concerned about extra traffic near the 4.32-acre site situated on the corner of Calle Medusa and Nicolas Road, right next door to Calvary Baptist Church.

Nael said he has reached out to the neighboring house of worship, offering them the use of the ICTV parking lot once it is completed.

He explained that the Islamic Center would hold services from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Fridays, while the Baptist church meets on Sundays.

“We have to extend a helping hand,” he said.

The land was purchased 12 years ago, said Nael.

After the mosque plans were approved last January, Nael said a hydrology report was needed before grading could begin.

Phase one of the mosque project should be completed by the end of 2013, Nael said.

More funds will need to be collected to then build a 21,000-square-foot building, he said.

In the meantime, Nael and the rest of the congregation are hopeful the initial slab for the smaller building will be completed on schedule by Dec. 1.

“Otherwise our permit expires,” Nael said. “When it expires by the law, the city has to send notices to all the surrounding homes saying ‘Islamic Center of Temecula Valley’s permit expired’…and when that happens that would trigger another public hearing and neither the city nor us want that.”

He is keeping faith that they will surpass the hurdle, he said.

“This has been a very joyful experience. When you serve the creator you can get up in the morning and know you are protected. When you are in a situation and everyone wants to shoot at you, you need the protection of the creator to make it happen.”

Nael thanked the city of Temecula, the Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley school districts and the Interfaith Council of Murrieta and Temecula Valley for attending a groundbreaking ceremony and appreciation banquet.

“They are the true voice of our community, the voice of tolerance, mutual respect and equal opportunity for all,” Nael said. “We hope for those who have misunderstanding of our religion and our people to get more education and interaction with the true teaching of Islam and Muslims and reject bigotry and stereotypes.”

Adrian October 08, 2012 at 07:36 PM
As a woman, you might be well advised to be leery of any Abrahamic religion. That said, I don't think you have anything to worry about. I don't think the Islamic Center will breed radicalism. Remember, too, that the members of the center are already your neighbors and members of your community. They currently worship in a makeshift facility. The only difference is that they will now have a dedicated structure for that purpose. Relax. I honestly think you are safe. I don't think you are a bigot. You just seem a little alarmist, and I hope your fears will diminish with time. There is no reason to live in crippling fear over your neighbors' place of worship.
Net October 08, 2012 at 07:37 PM
ALLAHU-AKABAR!!!! (BOOM.)
tom October 08, 2012 at 07:39 PM
I offer this to inform. One must make their own opinion as to why a man would invent a religion that would justify murder,rape child abuse and the abuse of women. Re smack down. It astounds me when one cannot come up with something intelligent to say they insult. Must be their high I.Q.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:01 PM
It's called Freedom of Speech still in this United States of America, God Bless America
Adrian October 08, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Tom, this is yet another reason why the Bible can also be seen as a dangerous weapon of subjugation. All of the Abrahamic religions have misogynistic undertones, as well as class and age stratification. We can't forget about the exploits of the "righteous" Lot, and his offering up of his daughters.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Christianity lives in the New Testament,,, learned from The Old and was dead,,, saved by Grace in The New.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Temecula resident ,,, Don't assume these are just the Christians who are writing against this here... And to also quote Jesus in Matthew ch 10:14-16, "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15, I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town, 16, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:23 PM
@Adrian,,, I don't think we choose fear. Instead... I think we take the 'politically correct' way out so as not to be offensive to any sect,,, and by doing so we leave the crack open for that cancer to seep in. I think cancer is a good metaphor. And, in it's primitive form it is called Sin.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Not just in Temecula, Sam. It would be nice to live in peace and comfort on this planet but,,, that doesn't happen on this timeline. We still haven't learned from our past to have a better future everywhere.
Stanley October 08, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Tom are you referring to Mormonism? Joseph Smith had multiple wives including young underage girls. Today he'd be called a pedophile. And so did Mitt Romney's great-grandfather which is why they had to flee the laws of the USA and move to Mexico.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Last I looked we still had Freedom of Speech in Temecula. Cut and Paste skills included. I'm not offended by any posts here. It's called Tolerance,,, remember.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Freedom of Speech,,, called Tolerance,, I'm not offended. If you are then turn the page.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:38 PM
It won't happen. Try to live in peace. That's what I will do and teach my family. Try to be a good neighbor and let God settle up the difference.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Sorry Nicholas about your friends on that fateful day. I have to say that I work with muslims in my career. They do good. They save lives. They promote health and wellness and are good people too. It is the extremist who promote hate,,, this goes for any religion.
Cuz I Care October 08, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Darlana,, easy for me to say 'get rid of your fear'. I agree with the cliche' , 'Knowledge is Power'. Start learning.
tom October 08, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Stanly this is true,Evan today. They also have masonic symbols on their secret underwear.
V.W.D.S. October 08, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Well throughout the world, muslim women are treated horribly. It is a fact. It is also a fact that the muslim religion populates a large area of the world and as they continue to grow in numbers, they very well could enact policy within the United States of America that would not only undermine our Constitutional Rights, but also woman's rights. that is, if enough of them move into the states and begin to run for government and push forth their agenda - I say - let them have their mosque but be mindful of any legislation that disregards the Constitution of the United States and the sanctity of Human rights.
V.W.D.S. October 08, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Well, I don't think most young American women would tolerate Sharia Law at its onset - most aren't raised behind a veil and aren't afraid to stand up and be counted. Our American daughters are intelligent, independent and confident! Of course this very fieriness and confidence is exactly what most muslim men fear in the first place. A woman's wrath is a force to be reckoned with! Wrap her in a veil and force her to be silent...uh, huh, goodluck!
SPB October 08, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Honestly I think we have enough trouble as it is with the GOP's idea of women's rights.
Nick October 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)
Nick October 08, 2012 at 10:29 PM
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16 NIV)
Stanley October 08, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Why is it when you hear the word Islam you equate it with sharia law? Most moslems don't agree with sharia law and very few countries use it. By the way which moslem countries have you been to?
Italo Domani October 08, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Nick, sounds like more robotic rhetoric
Californian October 10, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Do your own home work..... http://islamversuseurope.blogspot.com/2012/04/hundreds-strong-muslim-mob-attacks-home.html
mommyof1 October 11, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Why is it assumed that every bad comment about the Muslim's is made by a Christian? This is so sad to read in so many ways! From the athiest comments, to the liberal comments, to the people miss quoting the bible in such a bad way. People wanting God out of this city because they think that is the answer to all these issues. No one can see that the more we have removed God from this country that was founded on God, the more trouble we get all around us. This country is not getting better! Just look at it and all it's chaos! Just reading these comments, does it look like our world is getting better and closer to peace? This world has never been so seperated and divided and full of hatred! It all started with our schools, no prayer in school and then no bible in school and just look at our schools now. I will not be putting my son in a public school when he is of age. As I read these comments I see how much 2 Timmothy is coming to life! I hope all of you turn off your tv's and stop listening to the media and see just where we are all at right at this time of our lives. GOD HELP US PLEASE!!
Carpet Guy October 11, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Why is it assumed that every bad comment about the Muslim's is made by a Christian? This is so sad to read in so many ways! From the athiest comments, to the liberal comments, to the people miss quoting the bible in such a bad way. People wanting God out of this city because they think that is the answer to all these issues. No one can see that the more we have removed God from this country that was founded on God, the more trouble we get all around us. This country is not getting better! Just look at it and all it's chaos! Just reading these comments, does it look like our world is getting better and closer to peace? This world has never been so seperated and divided and full of hatred! It all started with our schools, no prayer in school and then no bible in school and just look at our schools now. I will not be putting my son in a public school when he is of age. As I read these comments I see how much 2 Timmothy is coming to life! I hope all of you turn off your tv's and stop listening to the media and see just where we are all at right at this time of our lives. GOD HELP US PLEASE!!
Carpet Guy October 11, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I also want to say that I wish that the same Temecula that fought for this mosque to be built would also use that same fight for for Calvary Chapel Temecula Valley to be able to expand their church and not be stopping them because their church is too close to the Temecula winneries!
LBV Collins October 11, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Our country wasn't founded on God, mommyof1. It was founded on the Constitution... which does not mention God at all. The Founding Fathers (most of whom were Christian, I believe) specifically chose NOT to make our nation a theocracy. That fact is probably the most powerful evidence that they never intended for our country to be a "Christian Nation." The Founding Fathers wanted to create a secular government that embraced freedom of religion for all citizens, and freedom from religious zealots like today's ultra-conservative Christians. And if you're wondering why so many of us are upset with the ultra-conservative Christian movement, it is because these conservative Christians want to ignore our First Amendment rights and force their particular (peculiar?) interpretation of the Bible on all of us. Need an example? Just look at their efforts against gays. And contrary to ultra-conservative’s claims, we have not declared war on their religion; they have declared war on our Constitutional freedoms. Less God is a good thing... and our Founding Fathers knew it.
Carpet Guy October 12, 2012 at 12:02 AM
LBV Collins... I think it is interesting that in the beginning of your paragraph you mention that our founding fathers were christians and in the end you say that they knew that less God was better. Why would they think that less God was better if they were christians? I never mentioned anything about the constitution in my comment from before, I just simply stated that this nation was founded on God. Why? Because most of our founding fathers as you even admitted were christians. You can google hundreds of quote's from our founding fathers in regards to God (of the bible) and Jesus Christ. Christianity is interwoven in the fabric of this nation. It is on our money, it is in our pledge of allegence...ect. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12. I can not imagine a world with no God and no moral law. Just imagine everyone making judgements on what they think is right or wrong. How would that be a better place? I definitely would not want to live there! You say christians are so bad and so crazy, yet look at your comments towards christians. Is that a do as I say, not as I do kind of thing? I just want to end with this " only a fool say's in his heart, there is no God." Psalm 13:1 The difference between you and me is this, if I am wrong I lose nothing, if you are wrong you are eternally wrong. I sincerely mean this LBV Collins Jesus loves you. John 3:16
TVOR October 12, 2012 at 03:51 AM
As long as we live in a free republic we MUST allow our citizens to worship as they please as long as they do not violate the rights of others. Should we watch the sayings and doings of those we feel may have a higher potential to be involved in some kind of terrorist idealogy? Perhaps so but if we are to call ourselves truly free we must make freedon of religion a right of every citizen.

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