Security concerns shut down Newton mosque meeting

Citing concerns about crowd control and hostile social media posts, Newton County commissioners canceled a Tuesday meeting where they planned to address a Muslim congregation’s proposal to build a burial ground and mosque.

“This decision was not taken without careful deliberation and consideration of concerns regarding crowd control and law enforcement regarding social media postings evidencing hostilities in the community,” read a statement posted to the county’s website Monday afternoon.

Although the commission didn’t say which social media post it viewed as hostile, a spokesperson for the Newton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed it was investigating whether a local militia’s opposition to the mosque and burial ground constitutes a threat.

On Sunday, the 111% Security Force held a protest on the grounds of County Line Baptist Church on Ga. 162, across the street from the 135-acre parcel purchased last year by a Muslim congregation from Doraville.

In a video of the protest posted online over the weekend, Henry County resident Chris Hill said the site was a proposed ISIS training camp and claimed Muslims are followers of the Antichrist. Another man hangs an American Flag from a tree on what appears to be property belonging to the Muslim congregation. The video has since been taken down.

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