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Sterling Heights, Michigan Residents Sue City to Stop Construction of Mosque


These Chaldean Christians experienced Islam up close in Iraq. The government should be listening to their concerns, not displaying favoritism toward Muslims. Bravo to the American Freedom Law Center, which has represented our American Freedom Defense Initiative in numerous free speech lawsuits, for bringing this suit. It is much needed.

You can read the motion here.

“Sterling Heights, Michigan Residents Sue City to Stop Construction of Mosque,” American Freedom Law Center, March 17, 2017:

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and its Mayor, Michael C. Taylor, alleging violations of federal and state law.  The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on behalf of seven residents of the City who oppose the construction of a Mosque in their largely Chaldean Christian neighborhood.

Last month, the City decided not to defend against the specious claims made by the American Islamic Community Center (AICC) in its lawsuit filed against the City in August 2016, but instead to enter into a Consent Judgment that granted AICC permission to build the Mosque even though doing so violated the City’s zoning ordinance.  The decision to enter into the Consent Judgment was made during a City Council meeting held on February 21, 2017.  During this meeting, the City Mayor engaged in conduct that AFLC alleges in its lawsuit violated the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Open Meetings Act.

This past Friday, March 10, the district court judge presiding over AICC’s federal lawsuit signed the Consent Judgment and closed the case.  By doing so, the judge effectively authorized the City to violate its zoning ordinance by allowing the construction of the Mosque.  AFLC’s lawsuit alleges that this was improper and is asking in its lawsuit that the court declare the Consent Judgment invalid and unenforceable.

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented,

“The City’s decision to enter into the Consent Judgment was a fait accompli.  The City Council meeting was a compete sham.  Indeed, this meeting was not an example of democracy in action; it was an example of a naked abuse of government power.”

In the lawsuit, AFLC alleges that the Mayor violated the U.S. Constitution by (1) adopting an ad hoc rule that limited speakers wanting to address the Consent Judgment matter to just 2 minutes, thereby severely limiting a private citizen’s right to express his or her views at this public hearing, even though the City allowed other speakers addressing less controversial matters that evening to speak at great length, (2) prohibiting certain views based on their content and viewpoint; that is, no one was permitted to mention religion or even hint at it when discussing the Consent Judgment matter, and certainly no one was permitted to make any statement that might be deemed critical of Islam, (3) directing the City police to seize individuals and escort them out of the meeting if the Mayor opposed what they were saying about the Consent Judgment matter, and (4) ordering the citizens out of the public meeting when it came time to actually vote on the Consent Judgment.  This last action also violates the Michigan Open Meetings Act, according to the filing.

The gravamen of AFLC’s lawsuit, however, is its challenge to the Consent Judgment.  AFLC is asking the court to declare the agreement invalid and unenforceable.  According to the filing, a federal consent decree or settlement agreement, such as the Consent Judgment entered into between AICC and the City and signed by the judge, cannot be a means for government officials to evade state law.  Municipalities, such as the City, may not waive or consent to a violation of their zoning laws, which are enacted for the benefit of the public, by entering into such a decree or agreement as the City has done here.

Muise added,

“It is evident that AICC wanted to ‘plant the flag’ in this Chaldean Christian community by building this huge Mosque.  This is a community of Christians, many of whom fled Iraq because they or family members were subjected to violence and abuse from ISIS.  Indeed, AICC’s zoning application was a joke.  It knew the City would reject it. Consequently, its lawsuit, which has now resulted in the Consent Judgment, was a complete set up.  Unfortunately, Sterling Heights isn’t the only place where these Mosque-building tactics are being employed.  We will do what we can to stop it.”

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi commented:

“It is evident that the City caved in to the unreasonable demands made by AICC when the Obama Department of Justice got involved in that case by filing its own lawsuit.  The legally obnoxious conduct by Mayor Taylor and the remnants of the Obama DOJ is why the new Attorney General Jeff Sessions needs to clean house and far more deeply than just the political appointees.  It is precisely the corrupt bureaucratic underbrush that hides and otherwise disguises the swamp that is big government in D.C.  AFLC will do what it can through the courts, but Attorney General Sessions ought to take a look at our complaint and understand what his constitutionally perverse underlings are attempting to accomplish through this illegal Consent Judgment.”

Karen Lugo, an attorney and an expert on land use litigation, is assisting AFLC in this matter.  Ms. Lugo commented:

“The residents of Sterling Heights have been left in jeopardy by this rush to settle.  Their major concerns from the very beginning have been traffic and safety.  So many obvious questions and misrepresentations were never addressed, like the nearly 8,000 square feet in the Mosque basement that was never considered for parking and traffic calculations.  The deal never considered the many events and activities that Mosque officials have not disclosed to the City that will undoubtedly be offered once the site is in operation.  For public safety reasons alone, this Consent Judgment must be invalidated by the court.”

CASE UPDATE (March 17, 2017): Today, we filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to temporarily halt the construction of the Mosque while this case proceeds.

  • AlgorithmicAnalyst

    Mosques should be illegal in USA, no new construction of Mosques, existing Mosques should be demolished.

    • Uncle Inkle

      100% Agreement from your uncle.

    • Pastor C

      No First Amendment protections, for them, should apply-particularly since Islamists have declared war against us; most mosques are strategic military/terrorist-nerve centers; they preach and teach jihad; many motivate, inspire and arm terrorists (enemy combatants); and are seditious (in that they seek to usurp the Constitution and establish Sharia law).

      Therefore, at the very least, they should be, rightly, perceived as enemies of the State and perpetually monitored for subversive, seditious and treasonous activities.

      But, in today’s America, the legal, common sense rationale I suggest for their banishment run counter to the prevailing zeitgeist of political-correctness. As a result, the survival and future of our Republic remains tenuous, at best.

      • spfg

        Mosques should be illegal. They are fortresses and worship a god of fortresses in the book of Daniel. They are enemies of the state and for freedom. How we as a nation could have ever allowed this to happen and grow in our midst is beyond me…We as a nation have become overly political correct and passive. We need to destroy these terrorists centers and destroy them now. speak up and demand action from your government and get rid of the lies being dumped on us……

  • as brave Geert Wilders said, ‘Nazi Temple’

  • In Sowdi Barbaria, 0 churches, dar al-Salaam, the domain of peace

  • I doubt that the residents will win this case if the aim is to stop the construction of the mosque (building code violations notwithstanding). Their only recourse really is to attempt a recall of the mayor and others, or to get damages from the same, as the citizens aren’t party to the consent degree (Michigan does permit recalls).

    • Craig

      Typical socialist-loving democrat POS comment.

  • Dwight

    Very common in Islam to plant a victory mosque on “conquered” territory. Just what they they did on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

    • IzlamIsTyranny

      And they did it not once, but twice.

  • santashandler

    It seems politicians have, from top level government to the local level, have been ‘given their orders’ regarding the defense of Islam. In almost every case, they side step their own rules, ordinances policies and laws to favor Muslims at every turn. They don’t even hide it anymore. This is stage four cancer. So, the question is, can this be turned around.

    • Joe1938

      Re “can this be turned around”? We handed a bunch of cretins their arses in NOV 2016. That was a good start.

      • santashandler

        Yes but, they’re still here doing lots of damage.

        • Annie

          That is why, as Yerushalmi points out in the article, they will
          make their complaint to AG Sessions to pressure him into
          awareness that – just as you point out – there has been
          precedence in the DOJ for many years – thanks to Obama –
          to favor Islam at every turn.

  • Uncle Inkle

    Have you noticed that where ever a mosque is planned the people oppose it? The PEOPLE never want the DAMNED things. They only ever get built by using legal threats and loopholes. They FORCE themselves upon the towns and cities they infest. Why go where you are not welcome? Why?…because of financial incentives, welfare and freebies : to suck the rich blood of the West like parasitic ticks and fleas.

    • fuzzi

      Why? Because, INVASION.

      The spread of Islam is their goal, whether through peaceful (?) or violent means.

  • AR154U☑ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ DEPLORABLE 2020
    • Craig

      “muslims are subhuman murderous insects and they must be slain wherever they are found by freedom-loving people” Anti-communist, anti-muslim pastor, el Craigo.

      fair is fair……

  • AR154U☑ᵀʳᵘᵐᵖ DEPLORABLE 2020
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  • marhannah

    If Americans want to remain free and sovereign, they need to learn and remember some basic concepts within islam; wherever the ideology has warred, believing they have conquered, that is where they will build their mosque(s); like the one they wanted to build at Ground Zero several years ago in NYC not too long after 911.
    Please, see this:
    This belief system, the entirety of islam is not a ‘religion’ in the sense that we in the West understand or recognize religion; this is an ‘ideology’, a ‘political ideology’, one that masquerades as a religion. All one need do is research its beginning; the founder, history, and its adherents throughout the past 1400+ years to present day.

    They believe that simply because they attacked, taking down the World Trade Center buildings and murdering thousands of innocent people, they have literally ‘conquered’ the United States of America. They were/are wrong!
    Thankfully, their plan to build a ‘victory mosque’ on that sacred and hallowed ground was indeed stopped;
    true patriotic Americans gathered together, went through legal channels, and stopped the beast in its tracks!

    Now, the mosque they want to build in Michigan; this too must be STOPPED the same way our patriots of New York City prevented the ‘victory mosque’ from being built. To put a stop to all of this insanity once and for all, to prevent any further building of mosques on soil of the United States of America, our elected state representatives must uphold and enforce the Constitution of these United States of America against this ‘foreign enemy.’

    As patriotic taxpaying citizens, it is our right to insist that each elected state representative uphold every word in and of our Constitution; they are required to live up to the ‘oath’ they did swear when taking office.

    Article VI of the Constitution requires Officials to take an oath “to support this Constitution.” Today, 5 U.S.C. 3331
    specifies the language of the oath for federal officials. According to
    this statute, officials must “solemnly swear (or affirm)” that they
    “will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against
    all enemies, foreign and domestic” and that they “will bear true faith
    and allegiance to the same.”

    Because of the basic core and fundamental principles of the ideology mentioned above, the making of any new laws shouldn’t be necessary; simply applying and upholding our Constitution, along with the ‘oath’ of each elected official, this should be enough to strictly ‘prohibit’ the existence of the ideology in all 50 States.

    Mosques that have already been built; prohibition would force them to vacate, hopefully back to its origin.
    It goes without saying that all of this must be done legally; through our Constitution, our highest courts, and our elected state representatives who swore a particular oath to support and defend our Constitution.

    • Citizen 1949

      You have written the type of reply I only wish I could do. Very well thought out and it makes perfect sense.
      The main problem I see is that we have many members of Congress and liberal activist judges that will not support and defend the Constitution of the United States. They have chosen to be slaves to their Globalist masters pushing a NWO agenda. If we are to stand a chance of saving our Country these people should be removed from office. May God bless America and help us get the right people in office.

  • Drew the Infidel

    If the city fathers will enforce the city code on excessive noise and disturbing the peace, they will not have to enforce the arson laws so often.

  • Joe1938

    Mosques are military outpost for islam. If you Sterling Heights folk don’t want a mosque then grow some stones and bury a few pigs on site.

    • Joe1938

      PS: Islam is not a religion! islam Is a political system wrapped around a pedophile’s plagiarized materials from several sources and from imagination during drunken stupor. Goals of the islamofascist movement, which encompasses all mullahs, al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, and many others, is to promote a political ideology that seeks to subjugate all the world’s peoples, by physical force, under the supreme governing authority of islamofascist law, in every area of life and thought. The islamofascist goal is to enforce submission in body and mind—on pain of death. When considering taqiyya and kitman, one realizes that there is only one outcome between islam and infidels and that is a fight to death.

  • Annie

    It is amazing that Obama’s Justice Department would get involved in
    one city’s decision as to whether or not to build a mosque – all to put
    federal pressure on one small city to capitulate to Islam.

    David Yerushalmi is right. Attorney General must be made aware of
    this lawsuit and how deep and entrenched in the swamp his underlings
    really are.

    Not only must Obama’s legacy be destroyed – but his remaining legions
    as well.

  • David Pruitt

    I say, open a liquor store,,, a BBQ joint, a Butcher shop specializing in pork, and a strip club next to every mosque in America. Let’s see how Tolerant the people that ask us for tolerance really are.

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