by Robert Spencer
The town rejected the Islamic center on zoning grounds, but at a meeting, some opponents of the project “made disparaging remarks about the Muslim faith.” Time to call in the Thought Police! Time for Obama’s feds to force the mosque on this city! It is impossible to have a mature discussion about mosques in the U.S. It is impossible to point out that 80% of mosques in the U.S. are Saudi-funded, and that four separate, independent studies since 1998 have found that 80% also teach hatred of Jews and Christians and the supremacy of Sharia over Constitutional law. Anyone who points out such things is immediately accused of “racism,” “bigotry,” “hatred” and “Islamophobia.”
Yet the concerns are legitimate. Would the feds be suing the city of St. Anthony if it had rejected a church funded by a foreign government that was ostensibly an ally but that had spent billions to fund enemies of the U.S., and that taught that ultimately the Constitution would have to be replaced with a theocracy? I expect that in such a case, the feds would be suing the church, not the city that turned it down.
“Feds plan to sue city of St. Anthony over rejection of Islamic center,” by Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, August 27, 2014 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
The U.S. Department of Justice plans to sue the city of St. Anthony for rejecting a proposed Islamic center in 2012.
Federal authorities recently sent the city notice of their intent to sue, and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger is expected to announce the civil rights lawsuit alleging religious discrimination at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
The St. Anthony City Council met with its attorney behind closed doors on Aug. 18 to discuss the threat of litigation. Mayor Jerry Faust said the city turned over documentation on the matter to federal authorities more than a year ago.
“They’ve taken a lot of records of ours. I am sure that’s what it’s about,” Faust said. “We have to give them all of our e-mails.”
The U.S. attorney’s office in Minneapolis has spent two years investigating the matter, with its spokeswoman saying at one point they had sought to reach an out-of-court agreement with the parties.
In June 2012, the St. Anthony City Council voted down the proposed Abu Huraira Islamic Center, concluding that a religious and cultural center was incompatible with the site’s light-industrial zoning. The council’s 4-1 decision went against a city planning commission recommendation to approve the 15,000-square-foot center in the old Medtronic headquarters at 3055 Old Highway 8.
The council decision came after some St. Anthony residents voiced their opposition to the proposed center. More than 150 people packed the meeting, and some made disparaging remarks about the Muslim faith.
Jim Roth, the lone council member to vote in favor of the Islamic center, predicted at the time of the vote that the council’s rejection would spawn a lawsuit. Roth said he was “embarrassed” and “stunned” by some of the remarks made.
St. Anthony city leaders have maintained the decision was grounded solely in land-use issues. St. Anthony is a “first-ring” suburb of Minneapolis that’s just 2.35 square miles with 8,200 people.
The Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked federal authorities to investigate whether the city violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000(RLUIPA).
In August 2012, two months after the council’s rejection, the Muslim group proposing the Islamic center purchased the former Medtronic Inc. headquarters for $1.9 million.
Mosques and Islamic school projects have faced opposition across the state. Some community members opposed projects in Plymouth, Willmar, Bloomington and Blaine, but all were approved.