<b>ALL SMILES: </b> Islamic Society of Santa Barbara cofounder Mukhtar Khan celebrates with his daughter, Dalia Khan, after the Goleta Planning Commission voted unanimously to send the proposed mosque project to the City Council.

Paul Wellman

ALL SMILES: Islamic Society of Santa Barbara cofounder Mukhtar Khan celebrates with his daughter, Dalia Khan, after the Goleta Planning Commission voted unanimously to send the proposed mosque project to the City Council.

Goleta Mosque Closer to Reality

Islamic Society Celebrates Planning Commission Vote

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

The Islamic Society of Santa Barbara (ISSB) is one step closer to getting its Goleta community center ​— ​the first permanent place of worship for Muslims in the county ​— ​after the city’s Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday night to pass the project along to the Goleta City Council. The 4-0 vote (Commissioner Meg West wasn’t present) came as a sigh of relief for the project’s proponents ​— ​dozens of whom attended the meeting to voice their support ​— ​who have been waiting for the mosque since the developers filed an application in 2003. Approximately 30 people ​— ​including ISSB members, area religious leaders, and locals unconnected to the project ​— ​argued the community center’s case to the commissioners, lauding the number of other houses of worship in town while lamenting the lack of a designated space for the Muslim community, which currently meets at the Goleta Valley Community Center.

“It’s so beautiful that one city can be so diverse and inclusive,” said the daughter of ISSB cofounder Mukhtar Khan, Dalia Khan, who began to cry during her speech. “But why are the Muslims left out? The Muslims in this city have the right to a place to worship.” Mukhtar Khan, referencing the mosque’s components, said, “This project fits the land, and this center fits our city.”

After undergoing several iterations over its years of planning, the project ​— ​slotted for the corner of Los Carneros Road and Calle Real ​— ​would be a two-story building just under 10,000 square feet, featuring a prayer area as well as a dining room, library, and lecture hall. The 42 parking spots attracted the most criticism ​— ​a few Goleta residents who live nearby worried that number was unrealistically low and that visitors would park on the street. Concerns about the sounds from bells and calls to prayer (which the developers said aren’t part of the ISSB’s plans) were raised by a few people. According to city staff, the center is not expected to have substantial effects on mountain views or traffic. The City Council will have the final say at a date to be determined.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

World religion encompassing 1.3 billion people across the globe. Welcome to Santa Barbara. There is much we all can learn from the Five Pillars of Wisdom.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 8:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's about time Goleta allows the mosque to be built. Agree foo on the Five Pillars, but I also would stress the extremely peaceful Sufi tradition in Islam.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 9:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I can't imagine what it must be like for the area's Muslims to not have a place to worship and enjoy fellowship with their peers. Reading this makes me grateful that as a Christian, I've always had my choice of places to worship, but what a wake-up call for me to see that the members of the Islamic community have not had this same access.

I hope they get their mosque and all goes well for everyone involved, including the neighbors.

Holly (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 10:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Rumi may be our improbable common denominator, DD

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 11:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

and Kabir

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 1:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Please, no stupid comments on this thread. Well, except this one.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
November 27, 2013 at 11:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Remember folks, this country was founded on freedom of religion so this should be no big deal.

Perhaps the one thing America has done best is shown the world how people of different faiths can coexist.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 6:04 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If such a belated reality is coming closer in Goleta, then can the same be far away in an equally quiet suburb of Los Angeles named Alhambra?

salsipuedes (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Freedom of religion is great but it needs to be a two way street. You can be pretty sure if this were an Islamic country other religions would not be free to open churches. Look at Nigeria and other places.

Noletaman (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Noletaman .. Here's a list of 234 churches in Nigeria:

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)


banjo (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

and in fact, Noletaman, there has indeed been some persecution and even attacks on churches in Nigeria. However, "freedom of religion" certainly DOES NOT need to be a two-way street, sir. In our USA we believe in freedom of religion as stated in the First Amendment; if other countries aren't up to that standard, that is too bad, I know for example that in Iran there is persecution of the Bahai and some Sufis... but why be like other countries? Our street is the one we are interested in. Your comment does not make much sense.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Noletaman, when you write "if this were an Islamic country other religions would not be free to open churches" you are correct in terms of several of these countries (not all of them, check Indonesia which seems OK with neo-Hinduism)... But the USA, with its glorious First Amendment celebrating absolute freedom of religion (with some other crucial freedoms like peaceful Assembly and open press), believed WE could have more fair laws, and to some extent we have this today. It's shameful the Goleta mosque has been held up so long. We have better laws than these types of prejudiced ones you write about in some foreign countries.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 5:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Go experience your five pillars in Northern Nigeria or Saudi, and tell us how great you think they are.

banjo (anonymous profile)
November 28, 2013 at 10:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

try reading and comprehending the First Amendment, banjo, and understanding what religious freedom and tolerance is all about. Let's see, because citizens in Nigeria or Saudi Arabia aren't as fortunate as we are here, we should then imitate THEM? Puh - leeze, rethink your prejudiced and ignorant comment.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 8:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Painting 1.3 billion religious followers with the same broad brush as exhibited by an excessive few is the epitome of religious intolerance. What is it you really hate about Islam, banjo. Because it is not their theology.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, Bill, "freedom of religion - a civil right guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constitution" is certainly a watershed moment in human development, thanks to James Madison. Yet even with such an enlightened provision, the road to such expression was often bumpy. Why did Roger Williams leave Massachusetts, of all places, the home of Harvard University, for Rhode Island? And the emergence of Joseph Smith, Jr., as founder of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, was not greeted with shouts of jubilation. In fact, Mormon followers, in somewhat similar fashion as the Cherokee peoples of Georgia, had to make a similar trek to the Utah territory to fully realize that freedom. During our recent presidential campaign, I personally was stunned to witness on television presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, being refused a handshake by a disgruntled citizen in Texas as he extended his hand. Fortunately, the expression we all applaud might be attributed to the the fact that the United States was a young nation in formation where entrenched orthodoxies hadn't taken hold as in older civilizations. So hooray for youth and the Bill of Rights. I might point our here that some of the African slaves were Islamics who converted to Christianity under duress.

salsipuedes (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I just saw a flying pig!

I can't believe I'm sharing the same sentiments as foofighter :)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 10:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Time for a group hug.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 9:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't judge all of Islam only by Saudi Arabia; any more than you would judge all of Christianity only by the Vatican City.

foofighter (anonymous profile)
November 29, 2013 at 10:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I am really surprised it took this long in SB.

We should set the example of religious freedom and diversity despite what happens in other countries.

passagerider (anonymous profile)
November 30, 2013 at 7:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Congrats to the Khan family and ISSB - a long struggle to get your space.

JohnDouglas (anonymous profile)
November 30, 2013 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The best reason to have true worshippers of Islam in the USA is that 7 of the last 10 radical islamist attacks in the USA were stopped by good people who worship Islam. The other 3 of 10 were stopped by FBI/NSA.
I recall after the Boston Marathon bombing, Muslims interviewed by TV news crews had one common wish "please don't let it be a muslim", and their wish did not come true.

khiggler (anonymous profile)
December 1, 2013 at 11:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

A lot of the radicalized elements of Islam have been funded and trained by the CIA and other western global intelligence agencies:

(Washington Post Article)

loonpt (anonymous profile)
December 2, 2013 at 1:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: