In the end, the people trying to stop the construction of a mosque in Temecula, California were vastly outnumbered by the crowd welcoming the growth of the Muslim community in Riverside County. Last week, we told you about the plan by some conservatives opposed to the construction of the new mosque to show up over the weekend outside the Temecula-area Muslim group's current digs to tell those inside they weren't welcome. To prove the point, the group planned to bring dogs -- which one protester characterized as pretty much the Muslim's mortal enemy, saying that Muslims "hate dogs."
First, the scene on the ground at Friday's protest. As the Los Angeles Times reported, "a small group of protesters took over a patch of grass across from the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley," but they were "greatly outnumbered by supporters from area churches who were there to support the Islamic Center." Overall, the paper reported, the opposition was "vocal but relatively tame."
The anti-mosque group numbered at "about 20," according to the Press-Enterprise. Other local press reported that the group carried signs with messages like "Muslims Danced with Joy on 9/11," and "No Allah's Law Here." The counter-protesters, on the other hand, "wore white shirts in solidarity" with the Muslims and carried signs reading "Leave These American Citizens Alone."
The two groups clashed verbally, though police on the ground kept things civil. Meanwhile, as the Southwest Riverside News Network reported, the Muslims actually there to worship "ignored the protesters but smiled to acknowledge the supporters."