(ATLANTA, GA, 9/21/16) - The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-GA) today announced that it has withdrawn its request for a federal investigation into Newton County's moratorium on houses of worship, which the Board of Commissioners allowed to expire today.
"We thank Newton County's elected officials, clergy and residents for uniting in support of religious freedom," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-GA. "So long as the county treats all houses of worship fairly and equally going forward, there will be no need for any outside legal intervention."
CAIR-GA, the Georgia NAACP, the ACLU of Georgia, Project South and 30 other organizations had previously called on the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Newton County for religious discrimination after the moratorium delayed a planned mosque and cemetery.
"Although the moratorium should not have been imposed in the first place, what's past is past," Mitchell said. "Newton Muslims plan to put the moratorium behind them and focus on building bridges with their neighbors, including those who may still oppose the cemetery project."
Imam Mohammed Islam, leader of Masjid At-Taqwa, has been holding private meetings with church and community members on a nearly-weekly basis, and plans to continue doing so before starting construction of the cemetery and mosque.
Newton County residents held a rally in support of religious freedom outside the Board of Commissioner's meeting in Covington on September 20.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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