Yonkers mosque fight returns to court

Posted: Updated:
MANHATTAN -

The fight to build a mosque in Yonkers continued in Manhattan today.

Members of the Islamic Community Center for Mid-Westchester are continuing their federal lawsuit against the city of Yonkers and its landmark preservation board.

The group appeared in the Federal Court of Appeals today arguing the city discriminated against them and violated their civil rights when it decided to landmark a property they purchased in the Colonial Heights section of the city.

"The minute the city of Yonkers realized it was going to be built for an Islamic center, what happened, they rushed in to issue a landmark designation," says Omar Mohammedi, attorney for the Islamic Community Center.

Members claim the landmark designation is making it harder and more expensive for them to open a mosque there.

A lower court judge ruled in favor of the city, insisting the case did not rise to a federal violation.

The Islamic Center disagrees with that ruling because they don't believe the judge looked at the possibility of religious discrimination.

It could take the Court of Appeals two months to decide on this issue. 

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