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CAIR-Michigan Files Federal Suit Against City of Troy Alleging Discriminatory Application of Zoning Laws

(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI, 11/8/2018) — The Michigan chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of a Muslim community against the City of Troy alleging discriminatory denial of zoning for an Islamic center. 

The lawsuit alleges that the City of Troy has purposefully and unconstitutionally attempted to keep a Muslim community from building a mosque within the city by unfair and illegal application of zoning ordinances.

READ THE CAIR-MI LAWSUIT: https://tinyurl.com/CAIRMichiganLawsuit

Troy currently has some 53 places of worship within the city limits. However, not a single approved Muslim place of worship can be found within the entire 33.6 square mile city.  Troy has large and growing concentration of Muslim residents.  

Adam Community has attempted since 2013 to obtain land for the purpose of building a mosque and community center but has been met with opposition from the city, the planning department and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Most recently, Adam Community had a hearing in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals at which the board indicated that there would be no acceptable place in the city of Troy left for the community to build its mosque.

After this hearing, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opened an investigation into the city of Troy and its zoning board of appeals practices. That investigation is still ongoing.

“Freedom of religion is a benchmark of American civil rights and is a beacon of freedom that shines across the globe,” said CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy Doukoure. “When public officials are apparently guided by Islamophobia in their decision-making, we have an obligation to fight back to preserve our religious freedoms.”  

“Troy has unfortunately taken the route of other municipalities in blocking the establishment or expansion of religious facilities for American Muslims,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid. “We have no other option except to assert the constitutional rights of our community through litigation.”

Walid also noted that CAIR-MI, along the DOJ, successfully settled a similar case in 2016 when Pittsfield Township denied zoning of an Islamic school. He said CAIR-MI also alerted the DOJ when the City of Sterling Heights denied zoning for an Islamic center which ended in the city paying a settlement to the Muslim community in 2017.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MI Staff Attorney Amy V. Doukoure (586) 943-8823, adoukoure@cair.com; CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid (248) 842-1418, dwalid@cair.com

 

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