- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

CULPEPER, Va. (AP) - A mosque is filing its own lawsuit against Culpeper County, alleging discrimination in the decision to deny a permit for a new facility.

The Justice Department has already sued the county, alleging the county board of supervisors acted illegally in denying the necessary permit to the Islamic Center of Culpeper.

The board voted 4-3 last year to deny a pump-and-haul sewage permit to the mosque. County officials say the decision was a routine land-use matter, and that the land is not suited for a septic system. Mosque supporters say community opposition fueled by anti-Muslim sentiment was at the root of the denial.

The mosque says filing its own lawsuit in federal court in Charlottesville allows it to advance legal arguments that are not at issue in the Justice Department’s suit.

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