Chicago Tribune: Mosque, feds reach settlement with Des Plaines over zoning
On June 7th the Chicago Tribune reports on CAIR-Chicago's settlement with the City of Des Plaines:
"The federal government's case came two years after the Bosnian Muslim congregation, formerly known as the American Islamic Center, sued the city, alleging it violated its religious freedom by ignoring a recommendation from the city's planning commission and refusing to rezone an industrial park to accommodate a mosque. Some aldermen argued that allowing any house of worship in an industrial park would endanger pedestrians and impede neighboring manufacturers.
In addition to the agreement with the Justice Department, the city agreed to pay the mosque $580,000.
"The city has a great deal of respect for the mosque and their members, a great deal of respect for the Department of Justice and is just happy that all the parties agreed that it was time to resolve," said Peter Friedman, general counsel for the city.
The American Islamic Center, now known as the Society of American Bosnians and Herzegovinians, has since bought a former Lutheran church in west suburban Franklin Park. Imam Senad Agic said he is grateful for the resolution, especially during the holy month of Ramadan.
"We are fasting, trying to raise our spirituality and to look at everyone with good intentions," he said. "We are happy."
He added that although Franklin Park is not centrally located for members of the congregation, the relocation had at least one bright spot. The mosque insisted on keeping the former Lutheran congregation's food pantry and clothing closet open, which they now operate as a joint ministry."