CAIR-LA Welcomes Conditional Land Use Settlement Between Islamic Center, City 

 

Anaheim, CA: The Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) January 10 welcomed a conditional agreement between the Islamic Center of South Bay (ICSB) and the City of Lomita to settle claims that the city violated the law when it denied the mosque's application to rebuild and renovate its facilities.

 The new agreement allows ICSB a second chance to reapply to improve its facilities. Additionally, it calls for the city to process the new application promptly, and waive application fees.  

 "This is a positive step for mosque leaders seeking to serve the needs of the local community by providing an accommodating space for members to gather and worship," said CAIR-LA Staff Attorney Ameena Mirza Qazi. Added Anne Richardson, attorney with the law firm Hadsell, Stormer, Richardson, & Renick, LLP (HSRR), "We are encouraged by this agreement and hopeful that the Islamic Center will soon have a beautiful new mosque for its congregants." 

In March 2010, the Lomita City Council considered the mosque's application to renovate and unify its disjointed facilities into a single prayer space with increased parking and an indoor community hall for dining and meetings. However, the City Council denied the mosque's application, despite its recommended approval by the city's Planning Commission, Public Safety and Traffic Commission and City planning staff. That denial prompted accusations of anti-Muslim bias due to a small, but vocal and organized opposition.

 CAIR-LA and HSRR filed a complaint in federal court in March 2011 challenging the city's denial of the renovation project. The lawsuit will recommence if the city ultimately denies the mosque's new application.

 CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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