Tuesday, March 6th 2012
CIOGC DISAPPOINTED WITH DUPAGE COUNTY DENIAL OF MECCA ZONING PERMIT
(CHICAGO- March 5, 2012) - The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago joins the Muslim community and other faith groups in expressing disappointment at the DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals’ denial of The Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America's petition for mosque construction in utter disregard of the DuPage County Zoning Ordinance; Section 37-410.1 of T-2-11, which grants protection to “places of assembly” for expansion and alteration.
MECCA, a member of the ClOGC, had requested relief under the ordinance to add a dome (50’) and a minaret (60’), both of which comply with the height regulations of the ordinance, to its mosque. MECCA fulfilled all of the requirements in the Ordinance and therefore qualified for the protections. The ZBA’s 6-1 votes AGAINST recommending MECCA’s petition is a flagrant violation of its own law, and will set a dangerous precedent for all places of assembly, especially, religious, if unchallenged.
“Having fulfilled all the requirements of the ZBA ordinance, and still denied permission to expand and alter an existing place of assembly is extremely disappointing. The DuPage County ZBA’s decision gives hope to those who oppose the rights of Muslims to practice their religion and who promote Islamophobia,” says Zaher Sahloul, Chairman of the CIOGC board.
“We urge the Zoning board to rescind this decision and to respect its own ordinance, particularly Section 37-410 as amended by Ordinance No. T-2-11 and grant us the relief,” says Dr. Muhammad Hamadeh, Chairman of MECCA board.
CIOGC calls on all Muslims and our faith group partners to attend and speak out at the meeting of the DuPage County Development Committee on Tuesday, March 6 at 11 AM in Room 3500-B at 421 North County Farm Road.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is a federation of 53 mosques and Muslim organizations throughout the metropolitan Chicago region. The Council's members collectively represent over 400,000 Muslims. The Council works to coordinate the activities of the Muslim community as well as provide education, training, networking and advocacy to and on behalf of our member organizations.