Florida: Daytona Beach YMCA to Become Mega Mosque

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." -Hosea 4:6


The former Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) complex will become a mega mosque complete with a segregated prayer area for second-class Muslims: women. They’ll be teaching young Muslims about the superiority of Muslim men very early too as there will be segregated boys and girls areas. 
There’s only one reason they need a bigger mosque – because the Islamic Society is expecting thousands more Muslims in the area in the near future. The elderly citizens interviewed for this article are quite oblivious. via New mosque planned at former Daytona YMCA building | News-JournalOnline.com 

DAYTONA BEACH — The vacant YMCA building in the north central area of the city, a beloved and bustling hub of activity for more than 30 years before it went dormant close to a decade ago, is poised to become a mosque.
The building’s owner, The Islamic Center of Daytona Beach, now located in a 4,500-square-foot building in the Midtown neighborhood east of Nova Road, plans to spread its wings in the 32,000-square-foot YMCA complex in the Derbyshire neighborhood. The vision is to create a much larger place of prayer, school, daycare center, thrift store, recreation center and Islamic heritage museum.
While some Derbyshire residents still mourn the YMCA’s decision to move out of the 43-year-old building located next to a heavily used park, they seem to be welcoming their new neighbor.
“It will be a needed addition to Daytona Beach,” said Derbyshire resident Norma Bland. “Islam is about love.”

Fact check:

Bland, who said she embraces “all faiths because we praise the same God,” said she’s hearing only positive things from her neighbors, as is Derbyshire resident and City Commissioner Patrick Henry.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said the 55-year-old Henry, who has lived in Derbyshire since 1969 and remembers how much people loved using the old YMCA, the first in Volusia County. “The Muslim community has been an excellent friend. They’ve allowed us to use the fields around the (former YMCA) building, and that’s an indication to me they’ll be a good neighbor.”
The transformation of the once-state-of-the-art YMCA into a mosque could begin next year. Last month the city’s Planning Board members unanimously supported a request to rezone the 6.5-acre site to a planned development. On Nov. 4 and Nov. 18, Daytona Beach city commissioners will take their preliminary and final votes on the rezoning.
If the rezoning is OK’d, the mosque developers will then need to get a site plan approved and obtain building permits.
The Islamic Center of Daytona Beach bought its Midtown property at 347 S. Keech St. in 1985 for $30,000, according to Volusia County property appraiser records. The mosque’s one-story building went up in 1988, records indicate.
The Islamic Center of Daytona Beach, Inc., purchased the YMCA building at 825 Derbyshire Road in July 2007 for $1.15 million, records show. At some point the organization also purchased property in a nearby cemetery at 1300 Mason Ave.

Who was buying real estate during the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression? Who had the money? Who was willing to take the risk? Where did the mosque get it’s money?

The eight-year gap between the YMCA acquisition and the upcoming overhaul was due largely to the need to raise funds, Henry and others said.
It’s not clear if the Islamic Center is going to sell its Keech Street property, which has a just value of $258,410, down from $263,415 last year, according to property appraiser records. The center’s Imam Belal Alzuhiry Shemman said that it’s up to the “entire community” to decide whether to close the existing building.
Shemman, a 26-year-old father of three who has been in Daytona Beach for about two years, referred most other questions to Hassan Saboungi. Saboungi is the Islamic Center’s president and owner of Ormond Beach-based Saboungi Construction, the general contractor on the YMCA building project. Saboungi said he didn’t want to discuss the venture yet, and only mentioned that he hasn’t heard any concerns about the new facility.
“We’ve had very good, positive support,” Saboungi said.
City records and the organization’s website indicate the hope for the vacant property is to offer not only a mosque, but also a recreational center with everything from soccer to aerobics, a childcare facility for mosque members, medical clinic and private school that could open in August of next year. A new building could be built in a second phase for a thrift store or member-supported bakery, according to city records.
Henry, who said homeless people have broken into the old YMCA building a few times, has seen an artist’s rendering depicting planned changes and said “it’ll look very nice.”
Architectural drawings submitted to the city show the front of the main building taking on a new, more polished look with many more windows, decorative accents and palm trees. Landscaped islands would be added to the parking lot areas.
Floor plans filed with the city for the lower level show a large men’s prayer hall, a women’s prayer hall about half as big, a men’s social area, a women’s social area, separate kitchens for men and women, separate covered patios for men and women, separate activity areas for boys and girls, a racquetball court, volleyball court and gym.
The proposed second floor plan shows another large men’s prayer hall, gym, racquetball court, six classrooms, library, computer area, conference room and two multipurpose rooms.
Some Daytona Beach residents have been unhappy about fees charged to users of the city government-owned Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural and Educational Center and Midtown Cultural and Educational Center, and they’re hoping the mosque will offer free or less expensive activities.
Linda McGee, one of more than 1,000 members of the Daytona mosque and recreation manager for the city of Daytona Beach until she retired two years ago, said the community will be invited to use the new center and learn more about Islam. The 61-year-old McGee, who worked for the city for 38 years, said she’ll help develop programs at the new mosque.
“We all want to be one community, working together,” said McGee, who lives in Ormond Beach. “We welcome all faiths.”
There are Islamic centers and mosques throughout central Florida, including those in Sanford, Orlando, St. Augustine and Titusville, but there are only two in Volusia County. In addition to the Daytona Beach Islamic Center, there is also a mosque in west Volusia County.
According to its web site, the Islamic Center of Deltona includes a free medical clinic for any indigent person regardless of their beliefs, religious services offered to inmates of the Volusia County Branch Jail, services for educating Muslims about their civil rights and financial aid for needy Muslims. There is also a Muslim cemetery in Deltona, according to the web site.
Although the mosque uses Deltona in its name, it’s located on Summerhaven Drive in DeBary. In March of 2013, the DeBary City Council OK’d the opening of the west Volusia County mosque, which is also known as the Masjid Maryam, or Mosque of Mary.