Muslim Group Wins Right to Build Mosque in Michigan City

Source: The New York Times

Protesting the construction of a mosque in Sterling Heights, Mich., in 2015.CreditJohn M. Galloway/Detroit News, via Associated Press

Over the objections of some residents, a Muslim group won the fight to build a mosque in Sterling Heights, Mich., after the city on Tuesday settled a lawsuit by the Justice Department that accused officials of religious discrimination.

The group, the American Islamic Community Center, applied to Sterling Heights, about 16 miles from downtown Detroit, to build the house of worship in August 2015. The planning commission rejected the application, citing concerns over the height of the building, parking and noise.

But the lawsuit, filed in December — and the anti-Muslim language used by many residents who spoke at public meetings about the mosque — suggested that the rejection and the uproar were more about religion than by-the-book zoning details.

The government quoted a person who said “Remember 9/11” and others who claimed that Christians would face difficulty trying to build a church in Iraq.

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