Associated Press: Chicago suburb that wouldn’t allow mosque to pay $580,000

On June 6 the Associated Press reports:

“A Chicago suburb that prevented a Muslim group from converting a vacant building into a mosque will pay the group $580,000 and be required to train city employees on religious land use law, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

In a news release, the department said Des Plaines settled a lawsuit the department brought and another one filed by The Society of American Bosnians and Herzegovinians. The settlements come days after the Justice Department announced that the New Jersey community of Bernards Township had agreed to settle for $3.25 million a similar lawsuit filed by another Islamic group.

“They broke our hearts when they denied us because these are Bosnian refugees who lost everything,” he said. He said that the group found a church in nearby Franklin Park that it has already turned into a mosque. But, he said, the money will “help us do renovations, construction that we need to turn the sanctuary there into a prayer hall.”

The legal fight in Des Plaines was one of a number of legal challenges stemming from similar disputes. Last month, not only was there a settlement of a lawsuit in New Jersey, but the U.S. attorney’s office in New Jersey confirmed that it is investigating Bayonne, New Jersey, where officials prevented a Muslim group from building a mosque there.”

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