DuPage mosque gets green light to build new center

(CHICAGO, 3/22/11) – The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago) congratulates MECCA (the Muslm Educational and Cultural Center of America) for receiving approval today from the DuPage County Board for a special use permit to build a a new mosque.

The vote came after months of hearings, community debate, and a perceived push back against multiple mosques in the county. The board voted 13-5 to approve the permit.

CAIR-Chicago filed suit against the DuPage County Board last year on behalf of another area mosque, the Irshad Learning Center (ILC) in Naperville, after it was denied a zoning permit. CAIR-Chicago has been calling on people of all faiths to contact members of the County Board to demand fair representation and to express their support of MECCA. Earlier this year CAIR-Chicago and CIOGC held a press conference with MECCA to urge approval for a special use permit.

“All thanks be to God for making this possible,” says Abdulghany Hamadeh, a board member of MECCA. “We thank the Board for this positive decision. This will send a strong message that DuPage County welcomes people of all faiths, and that in the end fairness will always prevail.”

“The DuPage County Board made the right decision, not only for the MECCA community, but for county and country. It is incumbent that local governments reinforce our nation’s ideals for plurality, equal opportunity, and strength in diversity,” said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director.

“We are pleased that the DuPage County Board acted in accordance with MECCA’s right to establish a much needed place of worship for its growing community in DuPage county,” said CAIR-Chicago Staff Attorney Kevin Vodak. Vodak is representing the ILC in CAIR-Chicago’s suit against DuPage County

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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.

CONTACT: Amina Sharif, Communications Coordinator, CAIR-Chicago, 312-212-1520, 630-935-5562, E-Mail:; CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 312-212-1520, 202-870-0166: E-Mail:;

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