The DuPage County Development Committee (CDC) voted yesterday to recommend granting a permit to the MECCA Mosque, but the issue is not over yet. The County Board will vote on the matter next week. Call the County Board and show your support for MECCA as well as the other mosques seeking permits.
“How many mosques constitute an oversaturation in unincorporated DuPage County, according to the Zoning Board of Appeals?” asked Ahmed Rehab, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, at a news conference. “The answer would be one. One would be one too many apparently, and that’s very disconcerting to us.”
In tough economic times most neighborhoods would welcome development. But in suburban Willowbrook, they’re waving it off for an unusual reason: religious oversaturation.
Christian, Muslim, Jewish and civic leaders affirm religious freedom and call on the DuPage County Development Board to reconsider the Zoning Board’s decision to deny a permit for MECCA, a mosque in Willowbrook.
The zoning panel voted 6-1 last month to recommend denial of the conditional use permit needed for a worship center.
All seven members of the ZBA, along with 10 County Board members and former chairman Bob Schillerstrom, are named in a pending federal complaint [made by CAIR-Chicago] alleging they erred a year ago when they turned down an Islamic school and worship center.
Amina Sharif, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said she is concerned that officials are trying to limit religious institutions. In April, the group filed a lawsuit against the county alleging discrimination in rejecting a zoning proposal for an Islamic education center and place of worship near Naperville.
Call the DuPage Country Board and show your support for: the Islamic Center of the Western Suburbs (ICSW), the Muslim Education and Cultural Center of America (MECCA), and the Irshad Learning Center (ILC).
Make your voice heard and make a difference!
“There is a large and growing number of Muslim families who live, work, and pay taxes in DuPage County yet are being denied the same right as their neighbors to establish institutions to accommodate their religious and community needs,” said Ahmed Rehab.
The DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals voted 5-2 to reject the petition by the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America (MECCA).
Last year, CAIR-Chicago filed a federal lawsuit against the county, alleging discrimination in the rejection of a zoning proposal for an Islamic educational center and place of worship near Naperville.
CAIR-Chicago’s complaint alleges the Irshad Learning Center’s First and 14th Amendment rights were violated when county officials refused to grant a special use permit to open an Islamic worship site and school.
Kevin Vodak, the attorney representing Irshad through the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the judge hopes to issue her ruling within the next couple of weeks.
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