Sterling Heights to address federal lawsuits over mosque build

City Council to review settlements in law suits
Posted at 6:26 AM, Feb 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-21 10:47:22-05

The City of Sterling Heights will address two federal lawsuits against them stemming from the blocked construction of a mosque.

This is a fight that began back in 2015 when a group called the American Islamic Community Center sought to build a mosque at 15 Mile and Mound.

Tuesday night, the city council will address two lawsuits, one filed by the group and a second filed by the Department of Justice.

This has been an ugly battle from the beginning.

Seven Action News was there during the first planning meeting as a crowd of protestors fought to block the construction.

There were reports Muslims were spit on, yelled at and had their head scarves pulled. Protestors claimed the mosque would bring down their home values.

Ultimatel,  the proposed construction was denied by the city, even though it met all criteria from the planning board.

The AICC filed a suit claiming the city's decision was politically and religiously motivated.

The Department of Justice also sued, accusing the city of religious discrimination. Their lawsuit quoted statements made during council meetings including... "there are certain sects of them that should not be in this country."

The DOJ also cited a request from the mayor to make the mosque appear less Middle Eastern.

Tonight we expect the council to approve or deny the two settlements at their 7:30 p.m. meeting at city hall.