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Controversy Over Russellville Islamic Center

The two Arkansas Tech professors behind the Islamic center say as the Islamic population grows at the school, students are looking for a place to worship and just spend some time. But not everyone is happy about the location.
RUSSELLVILLE, AR - Piles of plywood and an X through tan old day care sign is what you see when driving down Parkway in Russellville.

"We thought now it is the time to make a place where we can get together."

Now those old daycare signs will be replaced with this Islamic Center of Russellville.

Anwar Bhuiyan is a professor at Arkansas Tech and behind the center.

"In the last couple of years the Muslim students at Arkansas Tech University have increased significantly," says Bhuiyan.

That is why he saw a need for a community and prayer center.

But one group known as 'Russellville Fam' has taken to Facebook to express its opposition.

Asking why would the center locate across the street from Russellville Junior high but community members we spoke with say they didn't know the center was even in the works.

"I had no idea that they was building that around here, never heard of it before."

And despite the one Facebook page Bhuiyan says the community has been nothing but supportive.

"Well whoever I talk to they welcome us. I see their positive response. They encourage us. They can visit our place. They come here. They talk to us. We eat together," says Bhuiyan.

The center is not officially open but Muslims are actively using it.

Buyian says there is still two weeks until the grand opening.
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