“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.
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.
“Muslims are kind of the new kids on the block in DuPage and they are going to face the highest burden in having to go to commercial areas, buy more expensive land, create larger developments and be completely away from their neighbors,” Vodak said.
“Given the situation with ground zero (in New York), there’s a growing trend by various right-wing organizations to vilify Islamic organizations, and I don’t think we can take that away from what’s happening in DuPage County,” said Kevin Vodak, an attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
- Get Help
- About Us
- Support Us
- Contact Us