As part of CAIR-Chicago’s Ramadan outreach program executive-director, Ahmed Rehab, will be visiting four mosques in the Chicagoland area to discuss the services that CAIR-Chicago provides to the Muslim community.
“It’s basically the ideal zoning application for DuPage County, with absolutely no controversy surrounding it,” said Amina Sharif, communications coordinator with the Chicago Council on American-Islamic Relations. “The area where it’s located is already commercially zoned, next to a synagogue, and there is more than adequate parking there. If the DuPage County Board had rejected this, then we’d have an obvious problem. This is a very easy thing to approve.”
The DuPage County Board voted 13-5 this week to grant a special use permit to the Muslim Education and Cultural Center of America (MECCA).
“We think there is a bias against the Muslim institutions,” said Kevin Vodak, the lawyer for CAIR-Chicago. He noted that the board rejected the Irshad proposal without explanation, which is highly unusual, and that last fall the county took up an amendment to prohibit any new religious institutions in residential areas. “Most of the new proposals are from Muslims,” Mr. Vodak said.
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.
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).
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