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U.S. Justice Dept. Orders Meriden To Work With Islamic Group To Allow Mosque

meridencityhall_wikimediacommons_180206.jpg
Joe Mabel
/
Wikimedia Commons
Meriden, Connecticut, City Hall

The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the city of Meriden, Connecticut, to work with an Islamic group to help them open a mosque. That’s after the city planning commission denied the Omar Islamic Center’s plan to move into a donated commercial building in an industrial zone.

The DOJ says in the settlement the city violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a civil rights law.

The city has four months to change zoning and allow for special exceptions for places of worship — the same it does for places like museums or libraries.

A spokesperson for the city of Meriden says because a judge has not yet ruled on the settlement, it cannot comment on pending litigation. The Islamic Center did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.