Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)
mosqueFormer President Barack Obama’s push to force a mega-mosque on a community of Christian refugees who fled Islamic persecution in Iraq – who now reside in a Michigan town – is being met by stiff opposition by those who moved to American to escape the threat of Islam.
Critics contend that the Obama administration forced the building of the mosque – in Sterling Heights, Michigan – on the city in a sensitive area where a large number of Christian refugees reside, indicating that it used its clout in the court system to get its way.
“The mayor and city council voted Feb. 21 to settle a lawsuit by a Shiite Muslim group and allow it to build a mosque in a residential neighborhood populated largely by Chaldean Christian refugees who escaped Islamic persecution in Iraq,” WND reports. “A companion suit against the city by Barack Obama’s Department of Justice alleging the city had denied the mosque a permit based on ‘anti-Muslim’ sentiments in the community was also settled at the Feb. 21 meeting – paving the way for the mosque to start construction.”
However, the planned 21,000-square-foot mega mosque to be named the American Islamic Community Center (AICC) would be the third mosque in Sterling Heights – even though the Muslim community there is relatively small.
The latest loss by the city was the second win that the United States Department of Justice tallied up for the Muslim community in a matter of months.
“It was the second bitter mosque battle in Southeastern Michigan in less than a year,” WND’s Leo Hohmann reported. “Obama’s DOJ forced a madrassa on Pittsfield Township – near Ann Arbor – and that town had to pay out $1.7 million to the mosque, while sending township employees to be trained on how not to discriminate against Muslims.”
Christians fight back
“After the contentious Feb. 21 meeting in Sterling Heights – in which the mayor ordered police to empty the city hall chambers before the council took a vote on the mosque deal – the Chaldean Christians were upset and talking about a counter-lawsuit,” Hohmann explained. “On Monday, they acted. They had Ann Arbor-based American Freedom Law Center, or AFLC, file a civil rights suit on their behalf against the city and Mayor Michael C. Taylor, alleging violations of state and federal law.”
One of the Christian refugees upset with the decision, Nahren Anweya, escaped Iraq and arrived in the U.S. with her family back in 1989, when the Muslim community destroyed her home.
“The mayor and the corrupted personal interests behind him have outraged a community which is comprised of the largest minority Assyrian/Chaldean Christians from Iraq,” explained Anweya, who is a spokeswoman for the Chaldean and Assyrian Christians in Sterling Heights. “This minority group consists of more than four generations of refugees and genocide victims under radical Islam.”
After the resistance, the initial stages of the massive building project are no longer running smoothly.
“The AICC mosque, after settling the lawsuit, was planning to break ground on the massive mosque this spring, but now it will likely need to put those plans on hold,” Hohmann announced.
AFLC Senior Counsel Robert Muise maintains that there were numerous political implications from the conception of the mosque’s placement in the community – beginning with the application the AICC submitted for its zoning permit.
Local Christians are concerned about the proximity of the massive mosque to their community.
“The mosque is based in neighboring Madison Heights, but it chose to expand into Sterling Heights – home to the nation’s second-largest community of Chaldean Christians, who are 55,000-strong in the city,” Hohmann noted.
Muise says that the mosque is an Islamic gesture of staking its claim on the area – as opposed to being a matter of filling a spiritual need for the surrounding community.
“It is evident that AICC wanted to ‘plant the flag’ in this Chaldean Christian community by building this huge mosque,” Muise asserted, according to WND. “This is a community of Christians, many of whom fled Iraq because they or family members were subjected to violence and abuse from ISIS. Indeed, AICC’s zoning application was a joke. It knew the city would reject it. Consequently, its lawsuit, which has now resulted in the Consent Judgment, was a complete set up. Unfortunately, Sterling Heights isn’t the only place where these mosque-building tactics are being employed. We will do what we can to stop it.”
The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – which has been exposed for its ties to Islamic terrorist groups – declared that the victory for the mega-mosque should serve to teach all the cities in Michigan a lesson … after the city conceded and settled the lawsuit to permit the construction of the Islamic complex.
“We hope that this settlement – along with last year’s settlement in Pittsfield Township regarding a previously blocked Islamic school project – sends a strong message to city governments in Michigan seeking to deny zoning of religious institutions simply because they are led by Muslims,” CAIR-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid proclaimed.
Azzam Elder, who is one of the attorneys representing the AICC mosque, threatened local residents that he would “monitor” any of them who he felt was Islamophobic.
“Moving forward, we’re very concerned about some of what you’ve seen at the public hearings with some of the residents,” expressed to the Detroit News. “We’ll be monitoring what we feel (could be) potential hate groups.”
Taking a stand
The community of Christian refugees is fighting for its continued right to freely exercise its faith, which believers feel is being threatened by the mosque.
“The 34-page suit by the Chaldeans – filed in U.S. District Court in Southeastern Michigan – puts forth two claims … that the Feb. 21 settlement was unlawful because it forced the city to violate its own zoning ordinance and that the way the Feb. 21 meeting was handled by the mayor violated residents’ free speech rights and also violated the state’s Open Meetings Act,” Hohmann informed. “The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven Chaldean Christian residents who live in the neighborhood where the mosque is to be built.”
One of the lawyers appointed by the Obama administration to fight for the Muslim mosque believes that the victory for the Islamic leaders and against the Christian community is worthy of commendation – a win that virtually saw the local lawyers play dead.
“U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she was ‘very proud’ of the settlement deal allowing AAIC Mosque to build in Sterling Heights,” Hohmann, who is an author and expert on Islam, noted. “The city’s attorneys put up almost no effort to defend the city against the lawsuit filed by the AICC mosque, which sued the city in August last year. Obama’s DOJ then filed its suit in December and the city immediately went into settlement mode with Barbara McQuade, the U.S. attorney for Southeastern Michigan who was asked to resign by President Trump just last Friday.”
In February, McQuade expressed that she was ‘very proud’ of the settlement with Sterling Heights – which permitted the construction of the unnecessarily large mosque – an agreement that allegedly showed her lack of compassion for the vulnerable Iraqi Christians … and extreme concern for Muslims.
“I think these cases demonstrate the power of the law to right wrongs … and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of our community,” McQuade said, according to the Detroit News. “The ideology is utilizing our American laws and Constitution to build a threat against our national security of this country.”
Up in arms
Anweya is frustrated over the lack of justice being administered as the new lawsuit moves forward in the court system.
“They’re utilizing foreign funding from Iran, and Saudi Arabia is also funding many other mosque projects throughout the country,” Anweya stressed. “This is exactly what happened to the persecuted Christians in Iraq by being caught in a political and religious warfare between the Sunnis and the Shiites and why we have decreased to near extinction. Do Americans want the exact issue right here in their backyards?”
The Christian legal team maintains that deception was used by the pro-Muslim attorneys to get the project going.
“The lawyers for the Chaldeans say the mosque’s claims of civil rights violations were misleading, and the decision to enter into a court-imposed consent judgment was made at a meeting in which the mayor engaged in conduct that violated the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Open Meetings Act,” Hohmann pointed out.
Muise contends the Muslim attorneys pulled the wool over the judge’s eyes.
“The City’s decision to enter into the consent judgment was a fait accompli,” Muise impressed. “The city council meeting was a compete sham. Indeed, this meeting was not an example of democracy in action; it was an example of a naked abuse of government power.”
It was reported by WND that the lawsuit makes four arguments proving that Mayor Taylor violated the U.S. Constitution:
Adopting an ad-hoc rule that limited speakers wanting to address the Consent Judgment matter to just two minutes, thereby severely limiting a private citizen’s right to express his or her views at this public hearing, even though the city allowed other speakers addressing less controversial matters that evening to speak at great length.
Prohibiting certain views based on their content and viewpoint; that is, no one was permitted to mention religion or even hint at it when discussing the consent judgment matter, and certainly no one was permitted to make any statement that might be deemed critical of Islam.
Directing the city police to seize individuals and escort them out of the meeting if the mayor opposed what they were saying about the Consent Judgment matter.
Ordering the citizens out of the public meeting when it came time to actually vote on the Consent Judgment. This last action also violates the Michigan Open Meetings Act, according to the filing.
A press release issued by the AFLC announced the injustice that took place regarding the mosque.
“This past Friday, March 10, the district court judge presiding over AICC’s federal lawsuit signed the Consent Judgment and closed the case,” the release reads. “By doing so, the judge effectively authorized the City to violate its zoning ordinance by allowing the construction of the mosque. AFLC’s lawsuit alleges that this was improper and is asking in its lawsuit that the court declare the Consent Judgment invalid and unenforceable.”
Christian lawyers argue that local city officials and federal officials are breaking the law to side with the Islamic leaders and forward the politically correct agenda.
“According to the lawsuit, a federal consent decree or settlement agreement – such as the one entered into between AICC and the city – cannot be a means for government officials to evade state law,” Hohmann noted. “Municipalities, such as Sterling Heights, may not waive or consent to a violation of their zoning laws, the lawsuit states, because those laws are enacted for the benefit of the public.”
AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi made his thoughts known about the controversial courtroom proceedings and ensuing agreement, calling the Trump administration to step in.
“It is evident that the City caved in to the unreasonable demands made by AICC when the Obama Department of Justice got involved in that case by filing its own lawsuit,” Yerushalmi proclaimed. “The legally obnoxious conduct by Mayor Taylor and the remnants of the Obama DOJ is why the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to clean house and far more deeply than just the political appointees. It is precisely the corrupt bureaucratic underbrush that hides and otherwise disguises the swamp that is big government in D.C. AFLC will do what it can through the courts, but Attorney General Sessions ought to take a look at our complaint and understand what his constitutionally perverse underlings are attempting to accomplish through this illegal Consent Judgment.”
Assisting the AFLC in the lawsuit as an expert on land-use litigation, attorney Karen Lugo emphasized how forwarding the mosque makes the local community vulnerable in a number of ways.
“The residents of Sterling Heights have been left in jeopardy by this rush to settle,” Lugo contended, according to WND. “So many obvious questions and misrepresentations were never addressed, like the nearly 8,000 square feet in the mosque basement that was never considered for parking and traffic calculations. The deal never considered the many events and activities that mosque officials have not disclosed to the city that will undoubtedly be offered once the site is in operation. For public safety reasons alone, this Consent Judgment must be invalidated by the court.”