Surprised? Me neither.
(KMSP) – A settlement between the Department of Justice and the city of St. Anthony Village, Minn. will finally allow the Abu-Huraira group to use the former Medtronic headquarters as a place of worship.
In June 2012, the city’s planning commission approved plans for the Abu-Huraira Islamic Center, but the city council later rejected the proposal by a vote of 4-1. Some in the Muslim community claimed the proposal was voted down due to religious discrimination, but St. Anthony Village maintained the issue was one of land use and zoning — not of religious intolerance.
At the request of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the matter in October 2012. A federal lawsuit was filed in August, accusing the city of violating the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).
“Four months ago, my office filed a civil rights lawsuit to protect the religious freedoms of the congregants of the Abu-Huraira Islamic Center,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. “We made it clear then that an injustice had been done to these Somali Minnesotans. After lengthy negotiations involving attorneys from my office and the Department of Justice, St. Anthony Village, and Abu-Huraira, we have reached a resolution that respects the Constitution and provides the worship space that Abu-Huraira sought.