STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The US Attorney based in Detroit is congratulating the American Islamic Community Center on beginning construction of a new mosque in Sterling Heights.
The construction, which began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, comes four years after the US Attorney's Office and the Civil Rights Division filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, alleging they violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act of 2000 when it denied permission for the AICC to build a mosque that would be more convenient for its members. The AICC also said they needed to expand because they had outgrown their current facilities.
The Justice Department settled the case in 2017, clearing the way for construction to begin.
“The Constitution protects the rights of religious communities from discriminatory practices,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider in a news release. “We are happy to join AICC on this very important day. While it is a shame that it had to face delays and unnecessary obstacles, AICC’s beautiful new building will stand as a lasting reminder of the importance to fight for the religious rights of all Americans. We are so pleased that the U.S. Attorney’s Office could assist AICC in its journey."