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Muslims Sue Town That Cited Traffic Woes as Reason for Rejecting Mosque

Image: Muslims Sue Town That Cited Traffic Woes as Reason for Rejecting Mosque

(Photo by Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 01:32 PM

A Muslim community has filed suit against the leafy Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights for alleged bias after officials rejected their request to build a mosque citing potential traffic problems.

The American Islamic Community Center's lawsuit charges a "vociferous and racist member" of the city's Planning Commission led the charge to reject the Mosque project by a vote of 9-0, The Independent newspaper reports.

"This suit [seeks] equitable relief to build the mosque and seeks damages as the City of Sterling Heights' conduct violates, among other things, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act … and the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution," the suit states.

It also charges officials in the city of 130,000 talked in emails about the possibility of looking into whether the mosque's leaders had terrorist ties.

The group's lawyer Azzam Elder told The Independent:

"We all know of a time in our history when sentiments in America were anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-German, anti-Japanese, or anti-Black, and those times have forever stained on our history. As defenders of the U.S. Constitution, we are confident that there will come a day when it will also be inconceivable to be anti-Muslim."

City officials argue their rejection was based on concerns the location was not suitable for such a large building and could cause traffic problems, The Detroit Free Press reports.

In 2006, Money magazine listed Sterling Heights as No. 19 on a list of the 90 "Best Small Cities" to live in.

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A Muslim community has filed suit against the leafy Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights for alleged bias after officials rejected their request to build a mosque citing potential traffic problems.
muslims, sue, town, reject, mosque
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2016-32-11
Thursday, 11 Aug 2016 01:32 PM
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