(CBS) — The now-vacant First Church of Christ Scientist in southwest suburban Palos Park is about to become a mosque.
Apparently, someone doesn’t like it, and thus an anonymous “Save Palos” flyer was born.
“What went through your mind? At first, mainly shock and then I was very hurt,” Palos Park resident Tasneem Odeh tells Dana Kozlov.
She got a copy of the inflammatory message directed to her via Facebook from a concerned friend. It also showed up in mailboxes and in some buildings.
The flyer states the mosque will bring large Muslim families moving into the neighborhood, with as many as 20 living in a single residence. The flyer also warns people will be moving out of the area and that property values will decrease.
“We find the flyer to be a nasty, deplorable, racist, bigoted flyer, filled with lies and fear-mongering,” says Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “It’s anonymous for a reason: Even the people who put it together are ashamed to be associated with it.”
The Muslim American Society now owns the church. No one with MAS returned calls to CBS 2.
Palos Park officials would comment on the flyer. But they said they would work with the society like they would with any religious group, in considering a certificate of occupancy.