For area Muslims, practicing their faith can require traveling to mosques outside their communities or gathering in residential homes to pray. Now after years of fundraising and preparation, several groups want to move ahead with plans for their own places of worship in DuPage County.
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.
CAIR-Chicago participated in an interfaith press conference held on behalf of the Muslim Education and Cultural Center of America (MECCA), the third mosque denied a permit in DuPage County in the past year.
“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).
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.
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