Officials in Horn Lake, Miss., engaged in religious discrimination by refusing to allow Muslims to build a mosque in the community, a federal court ruled last month.
U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills ruled that officials in the town of about 26,000 must allow the plaintiffs, Maher Abuirshaid and Riyadh Elkhayyat, to begin construction of the mosque. Mills also ordered that the city pay the two $25,000 and attorneys’ fees, reported the Associated Press.
The Horn Lake Board of Aldermen voted 5-1 to deny the mosque a building permit early in 2021. At the time, board members cited concerns over noise and parking, but one board member also expressed anti-Muslim sentiments.
“It’s dangerous for people to be driving up and down that road listening to noise seven days a week when other people go to church one day a week and are quiet, saying their prayers and are quiet,” John Jones Jr., who has since left the board, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I don’t care what they say. Their religion says they can lie or do anything to the Jews or gentiles because we’re not Muslims.”
The American Civil Liberties Union represented the two men in court. (Abraham House of God v. City of Horn Lake)