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Georgia Mosque Wins Approval

17 August 2011 General 7 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Georgia

Georgia

BY MIKE ESTERL

LILBURN, Ga.–A controversial mosque project that has divided this Atlanta suburb for two years got the green light Tuesday as elected officials dropped their opposition amid a federal probe.

Lilburn’s city council voted 3-1 in favor of allowing the 20,000-square-foot Muslim worship center to be built by Dar-e-Abbas, a local Shiite group.

The vote coincided with a Department of Justice investigation into whether Lilburn violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act by rejecting zoning applications for the mosque in 2009 and again last year.

The 11-year-old federal law, also known as RLUIPA, prohibits local authorities from imposing “a substantial burden” on religious groups or treating them “on less than equal terms” than other groups in land-use decisions.

Lilburn’s council halted the mosque in two previous votes after residents complained the project would bring too much traffic and noise.

Several residents spoke out against the mosque again Tuesday at a packed hearing. Allan Owen urged council members not to “surrender your authority” to the Justice Department in land-use decisions.

But another resident, Robin Stinson, spoke in favor of the mosque and accused local opponents of being “bigoted.”

Officials in Lilburn, population 11,596, also have been defending themselves in a suit Dar-e-Abbas filed under RLUIPA in federal court in 2009.

Dar-e-Abbas argued Baptists and Hindus were allowed to build much-larger worship centers on the same busy thoroughfare.

“It was a long fight, but justice has been done,” said Wasi Zaidi, a Dar-e-Abbas founder, after Tuesday’s vote.

The Justice Department has launched RLUIPA probes into 16 contested mosque sites in the U.S. since May 2010.

Write to Mike Esterl at mike.esterl@wsj.com

Original post: Georgia Mosque Wins Approval

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7 Comments »

  1. Finally! It’s a shame that it took a lawsuit and the Justice Department to make the people opposing this mosque see that this truly IS a matter of what is fair and reasonable. I know, many still do not agree. I hope they will learn over time that they were wrong to fear these people simply because of their religion or because they are “different”.

    Americans are Americans. United we stand, divided we fall. We’ve been falling way too much lately.

  2. well that’s one of the main problems with democricies or representative republics, the tyranny of the majority over the minority. what is even more scarier is that some people believe they know divine writ, and would impose “god’s law” on all of us, american or not.

  3. Because this is the United States, you are allowed to build a center for hate and intolerance. Just like the neo Nazis in America, you are free to express your hatred and whatever you believe. This is what freedom is.

  4. those who don’t want a mosque in any area are advised to bury a pig where they plan to build it – moslems wont build a mosque on ‘pig soiled ground’ – no need for violence or protests, just let it be widely known that there is a pig buried where they want to put their hell house – oh, and a litre of pigs blood doesn’t hurt either, in case they counter it by digging the pig up – blood soaks in and is never removed.

  5. lizzy- I know of a lady who raised pigs on her land. She eventually became a Muslim and donated that particular land to the Muslim community to build a mosque. Your suggesting might not work. Just saying.

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear the mosque is becoming a reality.

  6. @crazybats
    i’m curious have you ever been to a mosque or talked to a muslim?
    @lizzy
    I just up and tell you pig is not muslim kryptonite.

  7. should be “I’ll

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