...The metropolitan region has seen its Muslim population rise recently, adding about 25 percent to the ranks in the past several years.
"The Census Bureau doesn't ask questions about faith affiliation, but I think it's safe to say there are about half a million Muslims in the greater Chicago area," said Amina Sharif, communications coordinator for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
CAIR is coordinating the legal challenge to the County Board's denial of Irshad's permit request. The complaint names Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, ZBA Chairman Robert Kartholl and the 16 members of the two boards who voted against the petition. The defendants late last month filed a motion to dismiss the case. Court dates have not yet been set, Sharif said. (More)