- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CHICAGO - The U.S. Justice Department is suing a suburban Chicago community that denied a Muslim group permission to open a place of worship in a vacant office building.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Wednesday says the city of Des Plaines violated a 2000 law prohibiting the use of zoning and other ordinances to thwart the practice of someone’s religion.

The city had previously cited traffic and parking concerns for not approving the American Islamic Center’s plans. City spokeswoman Linda DeTomasi declined immediate comment on the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the city imposed parking and other zoning criteria that had never been imposed on non-Islamic groups.

Most of the center’s 180 members are Bosnian Muslims who fled Yugoslavia amid war in the 1990s.

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