Really not all the surprising, is it?
MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 29, 2012 (PRNewswire) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a decision by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a civil rights investigation into the rejection of the planned Abu Huraira Islamic Center in St. Anthony, Minn. The DOJ will investigate whether the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).
“We applaud the commitment by the U.S. Department of Justice to uphold federal laws and take a strong stance against recent anti-mosque bigotry in Minnesota and nationwide,” said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya.
She added that St. Anthony is the fourth mosque opposition incident in Minnesota in the past year. The other three mosque projects – Plymouth, Willmar and Bloomington – were eventually approved despite community opposition.
CAIR-MN asked for the federal investigation in June after the St. Anthony City Council voted 4 to 1 to deny a conditional use permit for the Islamic center, despite a recommendation by the St. Anthony Planning Commission to approve the project. The project had been on hold since a March moratorium by the council.
At the June council meeting, the proposed Islamic center faced opposition from intolerant speakers who — Islamic center proponents assert — clearly exposed the real reason for the approval delay and rejection.