CAIR-Chicago welcomes today’s decision by District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to deny DuPage County’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the county by the Irshad Learning Center, a Naperville mosque.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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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