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Man races pigs near planned mosque site
[QUOTE]KATY, Texas - A man unhappy with an Islamic association's plans to build a mosque next to his property has staged pig races as a protest during afternoon prayers.
Craig Baker, 46, sold merchandise and grilled sausages Friday for about 100 people who showed up in heavy rain. He insisted he wasn't trying to offend anyone with the pigs, which are forbidden from the Muslim diet.
"I am just defending my rights and my property," Baker said. "They totally disrespected me and my family."
Muslims don't hate pigs, they just don't eat them, said engineer Kamel Fotouh, president of the 500-member Katy Islamic Association in this Houston suburb.
"I don't care if he races, roasts or slaughters pigs," said Yousef Allam, a spokesman for the group.
The dispute began when the association asked Baker to remove his cattle from its newly bought land. The association plans to build a mosque, community center, athletic facilities and a school.
Baker agreed to move his cattle but thought the Muslims also wanted him off the land his family has lived on for more than 100 years.
Earlier this month, Baker conceded that the Muslims probably aren't after his land, but he said he had to go through with the pig races because "I would be like a total idiot if I didn't. I'd be the laughingstock now because I've gone too far."
All the same, Baker plans to continue the weekly pig races until interest dwindles.
The association never meant to imply it wanted Baker to move, Allam said.
"If we somehow communicated that to him, then we apologize," he said.
Resident Susan Canavespe said the pig racing wasn't mean-spirited ó "It's just Texas-spirited."
[QUOTE=HDCentStOhio]Thanks- now I see it. Was John Ritter born-again? If so did not know that.[/QUOTE]
Honestly, I don't know. He slipped into eternity in such a quick unexpected fashion so you would hope he was prepared but it's likely he was not (most people aren't). He didn't have any time to repent and be saved checking out that quick. For all I know my favorite TV show and actor could be in complete agony and torture right now and I'll never meet him.
Of course if he was a Catholic there's always Purgatory. :D
Mostly it seems like a misunderstanding on both parts but that Baker guy has been accusing them of saying some pretty nasty stuff to him. The Islamic association has for the most part just denied saying anything negative to him.
Funnily enough, I live in Katy. This is all happening just a few miles from my house which is probably the only reason Iíve followed it at all