Village Meeting Passes Recommendation on Eliminating Discriminatory Parking Ban

Lombard Community members came to an agreement that the current parking ban unfairly targets Muslims and should be reformed. The Cambria residential community in Lombard is plagued with parking and trespassing problems. These problems not only stem from the Muslim community attending Friday prayer, but also from the daily congestion from the Jackson Middle School, visitors attending baseball and softball games at the nearby baseball field, and from other non-residents who congregate around the community’s retention pond.

On or around August 31, 2006, the Village of Lombard passed a parking ordinance that banned parking on Fridays from noon until three. A thirty day police order effectuated the posting of the parking signs.

The parking ordinance, however, only targets the problem associated with the Muslim community attending Friday prayer. The ordinance does not address the other trespass concerns the residents face. Members of the Muslim community, many of whom own property in the area, understand that trespass is an important issue and approached the Village to devise a solution that addresses all of the trespass problems.

On September 19, 2006, the Village of Lombard hosted a special meeting, at the end of which it was decided that at the end of the thirty day police order the signs would be removed. All attendees were advised to bring their proposed solutions to the next Traffic and Safety Committee Meeting on October 2, 2006.

At the meeting on October 2nd, CAIR-Chicago’s Ausaf Farooqi spoke about how the sign raises ill feelings and it can basically be read as "No Muslims park here," due to the wording used. Additionally, he touched on the legal issues involved; many commit trespass in the area, and therefore targeting only Muslims is discriminatory. The Muslim community members support a general ban Monday through Friday, in order to eliminate any discrimination.

The meeting culminated with board members agreeing to the discriminatory nature of this parking ban, after which they passed a recommendation for a general ban Monday trough Friday 7-5. A final decision on the issue will be given on October 19th, 2006.

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