The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) welcomes today’s decision by District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to deny DuPage County’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the county by a Naperville mosque.
The Irshad Learning Center (ILC) applied for a zoning permit to use a former school in unincorporated DuPage County as a mosque and Islamic school. The DuPage County Board denied them the permit in January, 2010, without explanation. CAIR-Chicago filed a complaint against members of the Board on behalf of the ILC last April.
The ILC, which owns the vacant building, felt that an Islamophobic smear campaign against the congregation influenced the Board’s decision. ILC members, who are predominantly of Iranian decent, believe unfounded rumors regarding the ILC’s funding created a basis for denying them a permit.
“We are happy to receive Judge Pallmeyer’s well-reasoned decision allowing the ILC to proceed in its case against the County. We will continue to pursue the ILC’s right to use the facility they own to accommodate the needs of the community,” said CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney, Kevin Vodak. “The ILC met all of the requirements pursuant to the County’s zoning ordinance. Judge Pallmeyer’s decision acknowledges that the ILC presents legitimate arguments that its rights were violated.”
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CAIR-Chicago is a chapter of America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.