Of Mosques and Bratwursts

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In 2010, a bitter fight over a 4-acre plot of land embroiled unassuming Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, in a national controversy on race and religion covered by The New York Times, TIME Magazine, and pundits across the nation. Three years later, I return to the place where I grew up and meet the men whose application to convert a former health food store into a mosque spurred an examination into the Islamophobia and paranoia surrounding the changing face of small town America.

By Gaar Adams | Beacon | January 14, 2014beacon

The first thing to know about Sheboygan is that it’s the Bratwurst Capital of the World. The title might sound like a boastful, self-proclaimed nickname, but it’s also a legal proclamation – in 1970, Sheboygan brought a court injunctionagainst a city in Ohio for attempting to use it. Each summer, the sedate, 50,000-resident town along the shores of Lake Michigan stages Brat Days, a massive three-day festival that’s as much a salute to Sheboygan’s legendary pork-and-beef sausages as it is a celebration of its extensive German heritage.  

Read more here.

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