Associated Press: Islamic center sues Des Plaines for discrimination

DES PLAINES, ILL. — A Muslim organization has sued a suburban Chicago community for allegedly violating its rights to freedom of religion by denying it permission to open a community center.

In a filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago Monday, the American Islamic Center also accuses the city of Des Plaines of discriminating against it because of its Muslim affiliation.

The lawsuit says a planning committee voted to allow the group to operate in now-vacant office space. But the city council later voted 5 to 3 to deny permission, citing traffic and parking concerns.

City spokeswoman Karen Kozenczak (koh-ZEHN’-zak) didn’t have immediate comment.

Similar lawsuits have been filed before. In one recent case, a federal judge ordered DuPage County to issue a permit for an Islamic center after initially refusing permission.

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