When an Islamic center's plans to build a new mosque on its property were rejected by Lomita city officials in 2010, the Justice Department launched a civil rights probe. Justice concluded that there was no religious discrimination at work in the decision, but that it still ran afoul of federal law by denying the Muslim community the opportunity to develop a suitable place to pray, thereby hampering the excercise of religion. The Islamic Center of the South Bay sued Lomita, and the Justice Department was going to launch a suit of its own, but a new setllement has put both on ice, according to the Daily Breeze. "Although the city believes it would prevail in the lawsuits, spending the money on legal fees would not solve anything since the mosque would still own the property and the issue would remain unresolved." So instead they're getting what the city attorney is calling "a do-over" and considering a new mosque project on a new site, under a new municipal code adopted last year. The city attorney sounds upbeat, and she has incentive to get an agreement to develop the mosque in place; if the matter isn't settled by the end of the year, the Justice Department may revive their suit.
· Lomita to reconsider mosque's plans under terms of lawsuit settlement [DB]
· No More, Mosque [Curbed LA]