A message from JCUA Executive Director Jane Ramsey
Feb. 3, 2011
JCUA is thrilled to learn that the power of the interfaith community joining together to speak out when an injustice transpires has resulted, finally, in the recent vote by the DuPage County Development Committee to grant a permit to the Muslim Educational Cultural Center of America (MECCA) for the building of a mosque on land owned by the MECCA community.
However, the ordeal is not yet over. The final decision is up to the DuPage County Board, which will vote on the matter next week.
Please call DuPage County Board members and let them know how important this mosque is for the community. A list of board members and phone numbers can be found here.
Last month, after being notified by our very good friend, Dr. Zaher Sahloul, of the denial by the zoning board on the basis of “religious oversaturation” (a church and a Buddhist temple are nearby) a number of us convened at the Council of Islamic Organizations in a joint press conference to express our outrage.
On that occasion I expressed my deep hurt and JCUA’s solidarity with the MECCA community in its efforts to construct the mosque, remembering how our grandparents came to America to escape religious persecution.
I recalled, too, how my parents were relegated to purchasing their home only in certain areas in my childhood neighborhood due to restrictive covenants that forbade Jews and blacks from living in designated areas.
The denial of the MECCA mosque on the basis of “religious oversaturation” brought back painful memories of both our collective history of religious persecution and the discrimination my family faced due to those restrictive covenants.
The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs is determined to pursue any and all such discriminatory acts. We wish the MECCA community all the best in their efforts.