P. O. Box XXXX
RE: Minaret in South St. Louis
Dear Mr. R________:
Thank you for your e-mail of February 19, 2008. In your e-mail, you asked: “Who’s the fool that allowed an Islamic minaret to be constructed in south St. Louis?!?” Mayor Slay has asked me to respond to your e-mail because I am, in your judgment, “that fool.”
Mayor Slay and his staff are very proud of our diversity here in the City, and we are very proud that many Bosnian immigrants have chosen to make their homes in our City. The minaret is a symbol of these New Americans’ religion, just as church steeples are symbols of the religions of the New Americans who came to our City long ago. I assisted the Imam in obtaining the necessary permits for the construction of this minaret, and I make absolutely no apologies for doing so-in fact, I am proud to have done so.
Thank you for taking the time to write. I hope that you have an opportunity at some point in the near future to see what Mayor Slay has been doing to make St. Louis a great city again-for everyone.
Barbara A. Geisman
Executive Director for Development
City of St. Louis