Bella Vista City, AR

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Description

In September 2010, two residents speak at a work session of the Bella Vista City Council to urge the Council to ban the construction of mosques and practice of Sharia Law in Bella Vista. The City Council takes no action on the issue.

Creator

Bryce Bentinck

Year

2010

Outcome

The City has not banned the construction of mosques. There is no mosque in Bella Vista City at present.

Narrative

In September, Mayor Frank Anderson reported that he had received several emails from a small number of residents in regard to a mosque construction ban. In order to give them an opportunity to voice their opinions, two local residents, Kay Strickland and Bill Duncan, were permitted to speak at a work session of the Bella Vista City Council. All six council members were present, along with an estimated fifty residents. 

At the meeting, Kay Strickland asked that the Council protect residents by banning the construction of mosques and enforcement of Sharia law. Stricland was joined by Bill Duncan, a veteran and member of an organization called Veteran’s Against Jihadism. Duncan referred to his travels abroad to support his claim that Sharia Law was not compatible with the US Constitution. Several attendees at the work session spoke out against the proposed ordinance. Stephen Sheppard, a member of the US Supreme Court Bar and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas, warned the council that the ban would be unlawful. Also in opposition, Joel Gordon, the director of Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas, stated that the proposition ran “against the grain of our Constitution” and was “mind boggling” (Belloni, 2015, September 25). 

Mayor Anderson thanked the participants and council members made no comment on the matter. The Bella Vista City Council has not revisited the issue of Sharia Law or issued any ordinances on the matter since Duncan and Strickland’s contributions.

References
Belloni, G. (2010, September 25). Both sides present views on mosque - Bella Vista City Council hears from experts, residents. Benton County Daily Record (AR), p. 3. Available from https://infoweb-newsbank-com.

Last Updated

August 1, 2021

Collection

Citation

Bryce Bentinck, “Bella Vista City, AR,” U.S. Mosque Controversies, accessed December 5, 2021, https://usmc.ecdsomeka.org/items/show/41.

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