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January 7, 2019

Islamic organization seeks “spiritual retreat” approval

Contributed Photo
In years past, the retreat has taken place in Harrisburg, Pa., and at the Dulles Expo Center.
We want to be very transparent with everything we’re doing. It’s like an open book.
— Spokesman Amjad Kahn
Public Hearing
• Topic: Special exception permit to allow an annual, three-day “spiritual retreat” for a maximum 5,000 people and three, annual three-day events for a maximum 1,000 each at Meetze and Turkey Run roads just southeast of Warrenton.

• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.

• Agency: Fauquier County Planning Commission.

• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton.

• Applicant: Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA, Silver Spring, Md.

• Property owners:
 Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler and Oak Creek Farm LLC.

• Zoning: Rural.

• Next: The planning commission serves as an advisory panel to the county board of supervisors, which has final authority. If the commission acts on the application Thursday, Jan. 17, the board could conduct a public hearing on the project at its Feb. 14 meeting.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
A Silver Spring, Md.-based Islamic group wants to hold four big annual events on a sprawling farm just southeast of Warrenton.

Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam Inc. USA seeks special exception permit approval for a three-day “spiritual retreat” for a maximum 5,000 people and three, three-day events for up to 1,000 people on 515.6 acres at Meetze and Turkey Run roads.

Fauquier’s planning commission will conduct a public hearing on the project Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Warren Green Building in Warrenton. The commission will meet at 6:30 p.m.

The five-member advisory panel makes land-use recommendations to the county board of supervisors, which will have final authority on the nonprofit’s special exception application.

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the leading Islamic organization to categorically reject terrorism in any form,” according to the nonprofit’s application.

With about 17,000 members in the United States, the community “continues to be an advocate for universal human rights and protections for religious and other minorities,” the application states. “It champions the empowerment and education of women.

“Its members are among the most law-abiding, educated, and engaged Muslims in the world.”

With the first taking place in 1948 in Dayton, Ohio, the retreat “has been going on for many, many years,” Spokesman Amjad Kahn said.

The “family-oriented” convention features “prayer, speakers, food and fellowship” and comprises mostly “family groups,” according to the application.

There would be no alcohol or music at the event, which often happens in late July.

Mr. Kahn had no specifics about the 1,000-person events proposed.

But, “we want to be very transparent with everything we’re doing,” he said. “It’s like an open book.”

While the project doesn’t call for new structures, tents would be erected for the proposed events, the Los Angeles lawyer said.

The proposed site, which the organization plans to purchase if the supervisors approve the special exception permit, includes two houses and several farm structures and outbuildings.

Activities and parking would be concentrated on relatively small portion of the farm, Mr. Khan said.

No one attending events would spend the night on the property, he stressed.

The convention has taken place in Harrisburg, Pa., for the last 10 years. Prior to that, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held it at the Dulles Expo Center on Route 28 near Chantilly.

Purchasing land to establish a “permanent” home for the convention appeals to the organization for several reasons, Mr. Kahn said.

“It makes sense to invest in a property to have events, rather than renting,” he said. “We’re just a Muslim community. We’re a nonprofit organization.”

With six paid staffers, the 73-chapter organization heavily relies on volunteers, Mr. Kahn said.

The organization also likes the Fauquier site because it provides an “open-air” environment and relatively easy access via Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports to out-of-town members who would attend the convention, he added.

And, the area has plenty of hotel rooms, restaurants and other services to accommodate people attending the retreat, Mr. Kahn noted.

Potential traffic impacts associated with the proposal represent perhaps the “foremost concern,” Mr. Kahn said.

“Traffic control will be coordinated with local law enforcement and Virginia Department of Transportation,” according to the application.

The organization on Sept. 8 contracted to buy the 515.6-acre site from Terrina M. Baker and Richard B. Wheeler and Oak Creek Farm LLC.

Rafiq Sayed, the nonprofit’s property secretary, declined to say how much it would pay for the real estate.

But for tax purposes, the county values the seven parcels and structures at $3 million.

Supervisor Rick Gerhardt, whose Cedar Run District includes the proposed site, had no specific comments about the application.

“I want to hear what’s going on,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “What with multiple things going on in the area” — the Fauquier County Fair on Old Auburn Road and the planned Central Sports Complex on Meetze Road — “I’m curious what VDOT has to say” about traffic issues related to the proposal.

“I’m hoping” transportation and other issues associated with the organization’s project “get fleshed out at the planning commission.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at or 540-270-0300.

AppMaterials SOJ AMC-Jalsa by on Scribd

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DonkeyFarmer · January 18, 2019 at 6:13 pm
@farmbum, what "classic business opportunity" was lost for the County?

This group is tax-exempt, meaning they will pay no property taxes. The staff is mostly volunteer and outside of our County, so no jobs. They will not utilize our local restaurants and shops as they will be on the property the entire day. Most will be using hotels in other Counties that can handle their numbers for the weekends. Surrounding properties, including mine, will lose value and be re-assessed, reducing property taxes to Fauquier County.

Nobody that I have spoken to, that lives here, wants this. Nobody here is going to use this. What purpose does it serve to residents? You know, the ones that live here year-around, send our kids to school here, and pay taxes here....

So we have a group that does not live here, headquartered in Maryland, with a spokesperson they flew in from Oregon, that wants to use our roads, our police, our fire and paramedics, inconvenience neighbors, bring down property values, and will provide nothing in return to the community. Does that sound like a good idea to you? Because if it does, I'm sure glad you are not the one making decisions for our community.

farmbum · January 18, 2019 at 8:08 am
Too bad for Fauquier. Here is the classic business opportunity lost for the county. One only has to look up route 29 or route 28 to see real progress and real infrastructure.

We will remain a backwards, residential tax based county whose youth seeks better education and financial security elsewhere as our farms go out of business.

Now, lets go back to debating about winery zoning and sharing the roads with bikes, cows and machinery. And broadband coverage! That's what we excel at!
SarahHenderson · January 17, 2019 at 6:20 pm
Demosthenes & JohnnyD & farmbum & Rover530, thank you for your sanity.
farmbum · January 17, 2019 at 9:28 am
Yes..yes... traffic safety and sewage issues....yes..yes... that's the way to deny applications in the county. Yes, no ramifications there. We can hide behind those issues. Heck, half the county has no sewage treatment, and we share our roads with bicycles and farm equipment. No internet either!

Let's deny all business applications accordingly. We have no infrastructure!
Virtus · January 16, 2019 at 8:15 am
Application considerations include:

Comparing 2018 Harrisburg 10K attendance to 5K request, is the request realistic?
Will potential benefits in application offset traffic management costs?
Are plat sewage underground tanks and utilities a permitted permanent use?
Is the 3-day event truly a family event? Ref. Brochure for last year's event?

Will events start earlier to accommodate morning prayers?

How tall will the event flagpoles be?
Noise and traffic impacts to neighbors?

Virtus · January 15, 2019 at 6:28 am
In exercising your 1st Amendment rights regarding thus Thursday's 6:30 pm Planning Commission meeting, please stick to impacts such as traffic safety.

Rover 530 · January 15, 2019 at 12:30 am
Racism. Religious intolerance. Xenophobia. Hatred. Why not focus on the impacts on traffic and local resources and other relevant factors instead of the usual objections by the Fauquier community when outsiders want to come into the county? The general idea of this facility is not sinister. Heck, Baptists, Methodists and Evangelicals hold similar "camp meetings". You won't see opposition to these. The road network near the site cannot support the activities suggested; especially in light of the plans for a major recreation facility. There also are not the amount of hotel rooms in the area necessary to house convention participants. Argue on these factors not those that are visceral, biased and irrelevant.
QuillnInk · January 13, 2019 at 12:05 pm
I'm a 20 year Fauquier resident with 25 years in engineering and IT work. I've worked with people from many different countries, including Muslim majority countries. I would have no problem with an individual Muslim family buying the farm in order to continue farming and enjoy the rural life we love here.
I am delighted to see how many commenters have educated themselves and are aware of the facts and realities. We will not be shamed by name-calling, moral superiority or virtue signalling attempts.

My problem is with an organization buying the property. Despite being a peaceful and productive group, their objective remains the same as other flavors of Islam - to establish dominance over Western societies (reference Europe at this moment and the yellow vest protests to see how the Europeans have awoken to this fact and are soundly rejecting it and other globalist schemes - Godspeed to them). The permit applications as they stand today are for 4 events, which the location could not support for reasons other have stated here already. Once they purchase the property - they will have privacy away from the public view. They will build a mosque as is stated in their organization's objectives. Then demand accommodation for all things local through the education system, local government, etc. so that they impose their beliefs and laws on the rest of the population. The correct term for this is "civilization jihad". If you doubt this, please do your own research (cannot use Google as it censors results, use DuckDuckGo instead).
One last note - this sector of Islam has been a target of the violent factions of Islam in the past. We do not want an increased threat of violence or terror to be brought to this county, state, or nation by groups that wish to harm this organization. I wish them luck in their mission to subscribe to a peaceful Islam, but we are aware of the overall intentions and feel it would not be an overall positive addition to our community or country.
Virtus · January 12, 2019 at 8:30 am
The 1/17 Planning Commission 6:30 pm agenda, application items & staff report:
Demosthenes · January 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm
Whoah there spyderryder. Proof that anyone in Britain goes to jail for saying things against Islam?! You need to stop getting your news from Facebook.

Disclaimer: Britain did jail a guy for reporting on criminal trials before they were concluded, and the trails he focused on involved Muslims. But that isn't about Islam, that is about British law regarding trial reporting in general.
spyderryder · January 11, 2019 at 5:17 pm
Their public spokesperson, Khalil Yousef, is a huge proponent against free speech. The Ahmadiyya believe speech should be regulated and criminalized if spoken against Islam. Criminalizing free speech didn't work out so well in the UK. In the UK, any opinion against any Islamic group runs a high risk of putting you in jail. This is what they support. If you go to this spokespersons twitter account, you will find many tweets against free speech when it is directed at Islam. What is most interesting is that he himself is speaking for the group with an unpopular mainstream opinion about free speech....because he has free speech.
farmbum · January 10, 2019 at 10:51 am
Outside of the racist rants and religious fear mongering... I say welcome to Fauquier County.

Unfortunate that our infrastructure, amenities that most communities have is sorely lacking. But don't let that stop you. Perhaps your business dollars will reinvigorate the age old struggle here in Fauquier of what our future looks like.

Gosh, water and sewer, along with roads and even internet could use a good infusion of monies. Good thing your close to the PWC line, I am sure they will appreciate your business and gladly accept your dollars!

Virtus · January 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm
Site visit 1/16 @ 10 am - open to the public:
Virtus · January 9, 2019 at 8:40 pm
A partial list of issues for next week's Planning Commission meeting that should be of concern to all Fauquier citizens:
1. Traffic impacts to include safety analysis and cost to the County to manage traffic for all proposed events - is it clear that the 3 day event attendance size will actually be lower than past events?
2. Temporary waste water pump and haul with a permanent holding tank - is it clear that this will be permitted based on Virginia Dept of Health and Fauquier County ordinances? If I understand correctly pump and haul permits are approved normally on a temporary basis for for failing septic systems until repaired on a set timetable.
3. Quality of life impacts, including adequate screening and event start and times verification, to numerous adjoining and nearby homeowner's rural zoned quality of life.
JOHN REEVES · January 9, 2019 at 1:14 pm
Absolutely NOT. Now Fauquier needs funding for a wall.
All respect will be lost for this county if this gets passed.
I am beside myself with disgust.
Demosthenes · January 9, 2019 at 6:03 am
Islamists are people who want to recreate the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East. The folks in this article obviously aren't Islamists, but simply Muslims. I don't think Jimbowski is trying to sound hostile to this group himself, but even the words used by community members posting on here show a dearth in understanding.
Jimbowski · January 8, 2019 at 7:49 pm
What is new about rejecting islamists in fauquier county? Years ago, and i am talking a long time ago--mid 1970s or a little later a group of muslims wanted to buy an estate--i believe near the high school- and start an Islamic school. It was not welcome either. Given some of the attitudes in Fauquier i believe the KKK would have a better chance of approval; then again any other religion would be welcomed.

brandonj · January 8, 2019 at 4:28 pm
This would NEVER get approved in northern Fauquier. Rich man's territory JohnnyD. I bet you're implying that though smile

They should approve this, provided they fund an underground hyperloop to shuttle people from IAD to the site.
Tony Bentley · January 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm
"Aḥmadiyyah, also spelled Ahmadiyya, modern Islamic sect and a name shared by several Sufi (Muslim mystic) orders. The sect was founded in Qādiān in the Punjab, India, in 1889 by Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad (c. 1839–1908), who claimed to be the mahdī (a figure expected by some Muslims at the end of the world), the Christian Messiah, an incarnation of the Hindu god Krishna, and a reappearance (burūz) of Muhammad. The sect’s doctrine is unorthodox in some aspects: for example, it is believed that Jesus feigned death and resurrection but in actuality escaped to India, where he died at the age of 120; also, jihād (“holy war”) is reinterpreted as a battle against unbelievers to be waged by peaceful methods rather than by violent military means."

Demosthenes · January 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm
Ahh, yes. Welcome to Fauquier County, where the average resident can't tell the difference between a family religious retreat and a terrorist training camp. Or the difference between God and Allah (which is Arabic for God, as in the same God that Christians worship from the Old Testament).

I feel bad for Americans featured in stories like this one who are so misunderstood by the rest of America, as proven by the comments section to stories like this one.
Freedom warrior · January 8, 2019 at 10:43 am
Actually llfarm88, I am wondering less where the no build folks are and am questioning where the property rights advocates are. Maybe the Fauquier Free Citizen will pick up this groups cause and support the special approval from the planners. If farmers, like the one in Paris should be free to use their land as they want, then why not AMC? Someone should ask them.
Tony Bentley · January 8, 2019 at 9:52 am
llfarm88 - the people that owned (or inherited) the property had no qualms selling the land to this organization. Since it was a large farm it was given tax relief status for all it's years, and would have had to be rezoned from Rural Agricultural (RA) to something developers would have loved to get their hands on, so they took the money and I'm guessing here, moved far away from what they allowed to happen, like that Fallon guy.
Virtus · January 8, 2019 at 5:01 am
llfarm88 · January 7, 2019 at 9:57 pm
Has this county totally lost it way????? How in the name of Jesus could we
ever expect VDOT / county planners to provide the infrastructure for this
kind of activity?? Approve this and it will be the end of Fauquier County and
Northern Virginia. Where are all the NO BUILD folks on this? Do you honestly think all those visitors to this county will go home after the visit? What about
water and sewer? Heck, we are not able to provide restrooms for the planned Sports complex?

Next thing they will want are hangers at the County's Airport!

I live on Meetze Rd, I wear a PURPLE HEART, I do not want this to even be considered. I am 21 year Retired Marine who every day regrets retiring to
Fauquier in 1981.

Fauquier was chosen because of its Openness??? That is a joke. Truth be known, Fauquier is the only County that would consider it.

God Bless America

(S) Lewis
Jeffersonian American · January 7, 2019 at 8:13 pm
Amil Imani, writing in today’s AMERICAN THINKER, keenly observes “Islam Is Islam, Irrespective of Sect.”

The various Muslim sects subsumed under the Sunni label constitute nearly 90% of Muslims worldwide, while the total number that form the Shiite sect account for the remaining 10%. The exact number, all things being equal, bestows greater advantages to the majority. In the case of Muslims' heinous agenda, the religious underpinnings of the two sects may be different. Even their strategies may be different in some respects. Yet their singular objective is the same: to dominate the world.

History has proven that to Islam, the ends justifies the means. Hence, the two sects are at work with their own schemes, many of which are one and the same. The division goes back to the time of the prophet himself.
Not only do Sunnis have the advantage of numbers, but they have been busy at their conquest of the West longer than the Shiites. The Sunnis have had powerful wealthy governments such as Saudi Arabia and the Emirates of the Persian Gulf to directly finance and support their future agenda.
The Sunnis and their activities are more visible in the United States. Yet the Shiites relentlessly also pursue their objectives in this country. From time to time, we see indications of the Shiites' activities, particularly since they enjoy the active support of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

There is ample evidence that America is under an unrelenting attack of both Sunnis and Shiites. It is disastrous to discount the threat they pose or underestimate the danger from either sect. The current infighting playing out in the Islamic world is in full color – red. Both sects indiscriminately slaughter each other while they claim they are following pure Islam. Anyone or anything that disputes the in-between is subject to death.

In Islamdom, they can dish out insults to non-Muslims; arrest Christians, Bahiá'ís, or Jews just for praying. They can confiscate their holy books and toss them in the trash. They call the Jews pigs and monkeys. They spit on anyone that isn't Muslim. But they go into frenzies of righteous outrage at the slightest criticism of their barbaric and highly dangerous beliefs.

Generations of Sunni muftis (highest ranking Sunni clerics) and ayatollahs (highest ranking Shiite clerics), over the years have indoctrinated their underling clergy as well as the masses with selective teachings of the Quran that promote intolerance, exclusion, and hostility toward non-Muslims – people labeled as heathens, infidels, unbelievers, and apostates. Choosing certain scripture in combination with a siege mentality endemic to the cradle of Islam, the Middle East has generated a fury of hatred that has a great potential to devour the life on planet Earth in no time at all.

Many Islamic scholars as well as politicians in this country hope Muslims will come to their senses and purge the negative aspects of the Quran and practice its earlier positive teachings. They hopelessly wish our world would become a diverse community of humanity at peace with each other. The million-dollar question is, is that possible, or is humanity headed for a clash of civilizations?

It is indeed sad to witness what currently occurs in this darksome world. On the one hand, all kinds of Islamic associations and groups in places such as Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia demand not only to be treated like everyone else, but to be granted special privileges – such as the application of Sharia law. Yet Muslim governments – even those of relatively enlightened countries such as Turkey and Egypt – systematically discriminate against non-Muslims.

Politicians, of all persuasions, have a duty to serve as protectors of all minorities and the powerless. The list of people who need fair treatment and are entitled to is indeed long and is not limited to religious minorities. Women, even to this day, are among the badly disenfranchised groups in the world – most shamefully in Islamic lands.

People of faith, those who believe in God and aim to obey Him, should recall that Baha'u'llah (One of the founders of the Bahá'í faith) emphatically stated that the "best beloved of all things in the sight of God is justice." If you believe in God, you must be just to all people. Little children should be the last to suffer from the terrible scourge of blind prejudice.

We had better learn from the terrorist attacks in America, Europe, and Asia if we are to survive as a nation. American customs, traditions and our way of life, are not compatible with the primitive ways of Islamic tradition.

When our elected officials decide to make new laws, they should have in mind our national interests first. They should realize that foreign laws such as sharia will never be compatible with our Constitution or our way of life.
Virtus · January 7, 2019 at 8:01 pm
What the Koran has to say regarding non-believers (kafirs):
Virtus · January 7, 2019 at 7:22 pm
Interesting that the attachment starts with Islamic proselytizing.

If this sect of Islam is the "religion of peace" and the Koran guides all aspects of its followers' lives, what is this sect's stance on the US Constitution, Sharia law and converting non-believers?

Listen2me · January 7, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Wow, I can't believe this event would even be considered. Is there no place sacred left in our country where these people who believe in marrying/raping underage girls, beating and murdering their wives, beheading anyone who does not worship their so-called god, murdering homosexuals, and mentally challenged people. Unbelievable, Fauquier.....The answer should have bee an automatic, absolute NO!!!!!!!!!!! Not in this community!!!!
Tony Bentley · January 7, 2019 at 6:15 pm
What happened the last time someone said "we come in peace"? A phrase stated by movie characters when visiting a whole new place. Said to stop the inhabitants there from being hostile.
Tony Bentley · January 7, 2019 at 5:09 pm
Whew, Meetze Road is getting congested! How many people go to the Fauquier County Fair every year, around 12,000? How many people will use the new sports complex when finished? Meetze Road is a two lane road with lots of curves, is widening it the next on the agenda of the county?
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