Obama's [In]Justice Department Sues Town for Nixing Rezoning Plan to Build Islamic Temple. HT: JudicialWatch.
In its latest effort to protect Muslim rights in the United States the Obama Justice Department is suing an Illinois town for denying a rezoning application to convert an office building into an Islamic temple.
Failing to approve plans for the Islamic worship center violates a 2000 law known as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit filed this week in federal court. The accused are lawmakers in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb with a population of about 60,000. In 2013 the Des Plaines City Council voted 5-3 to reject a rezoning request made by the American Islamic Center (AIC) to make a vacant office building in a manufacturing zone to an institutional zone that would allow a worship center.
The plan called for 3,661 square feet of worship space that would be used for prayer services on Fridays and Sundays as well as nightly prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast and commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. The new temple would also be used for youth group events and other gatherings, according the rezoning application.
In nixing the plan, Des Plaines aldermen expressed concern about the loss of tax revenue since religious institutions are nonprofits that don’t pay taxes. They also cited traffic and safety issues for voting against the project.
In its lawsuit the DOJ dismisses those issues and claims that the city’s “treatment and denial of AICs rezoning requests constitutes the imposition or implementation of a land use regulation that imposes a substantial burden on AICs religious exercise.”Denying a city zoning change to accommodate a Muslim temple also discriminates against the Islamic group on the basis of religion, according to the feds. Attorney General Loretta Lynch wants the court to issue an order forcing Des Plaines to let AIC construct its worship center in the city. Hmmm.......'the future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet.'Read the full story here.