Target: Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor
Goal: Stop violating Americans’ freedom of religion and allow a mosque and Islamic community center to be built.
An American Muslim community has been openly discriminated against after the planning commission of Sterling Heights, Michigan bowed to pressure from Islamophobes and racists and denied them a permit to build a mosque in the town. This is a willful violation of this community’s constitutional right to freedom of religion. Demand that this town reverse its decision at once and let this house of worship be built.
Michigan has some of the densest Muslim communities in the United States, but unfortunately that does not bar them from having to contend with the xenophobia and bigotry many Americans have towards members of that religion. This hate has been on full display recently in Sterling Heights, during a months-long debate over whether or not to allow a mosque to be built in the town.
Protests at the site of the proposed mosque have been going on for months, with many opponents waving American flags and Christian crosses and chanting slogans against the proposal. Apparently their vocal hate swayed the town’s leadership, as Sterling Heights’ planning commission voted unanimously to deny the building permit to the Islamic organization that wanted to build the mosque. As the decision was announced, hundreds of anti-Muslim protestors who had gathered outside City Hall cheered, chanting “No More Mosque” and booing Muslims as they left the building after the vote.
This kind of xenophobic and hateful discrimination cannot be allowed to be perpetrated by our government. Sign the petition below to demand that Sterling Heights acknowledge its wrongdoing and immediately reverse its discriminatory decision so that this religious community can build a house of worship.
Dear Mayor Taylor,
I am writing you today regarding the unanimous decision that your Planning Commission came to to deny a building permit to the American Islamic Community Center. This decision was incredibly discriminatory and needs to be reversed at once.
In the United States we have the right to practice our religions without interference or favoritism from the government. That goes for Americans of all religious paths, not just the majority. Many anti-Muslim bigots would rather American Muslims not be granted this right, but that would be unconstitutional.
For some reason, your city’s planning commission has decided to ignore the constitutional rights of Americans and deny Muslims the right to build a mosque in one of your neighborhoods. Regardless of the justification given—that it was a residential neighborhood and a religious building would not have been appropriate—the area is zoned so that houses of worship can still be allowed to be built. I’m sure if a Christian group had wanted to build a church in the same spot, a permit would have been granted without issue.
In that lies the Islamophobic discrimination of this decision, and it needs to be corrected without delay. I demand that Sterling Heights immediately reverse its decision and grant the American Islamic Community Center its rightful permit to build a mosque in your city.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sand LePhon