Two years ago, the village of St. Anthony denied a Muslim group the right to start a mosque in a building on Old Highway 8. Now they've had to "compromise":
An Islamic worship center once rejected in St. Anthony will open after all under a settlement reached between the city and the U.S. attorney’s office.This result is a lot of things. It might even be a desirable outcome. But let's not pretend it was a compromise. Andy Luger doesn't compromise.
“The city’s decision will be reversed and soon members of Abu Huraira will be able to hold prayer services in this building,” said U.S. Attorney Andy Luger Tuesday, standing outside the office building that has been the focus of a two-year battle.
Luger said he was “proud” of the agreement, which settles a lawsuit his office filed against St. Anthony in August. Eight local imams, four from the new center, stood behind him along with other Somali worshipers.
“God bless you and God bless America,” said Sheikh Abdirahman Omar, vice president of the center. He thanked the Justice Department and “all the neighbors who have reached out to us and offered your support and encouragement.”
St. Anthony Mayor Jerry Faust also praised what he called a “compromise” and predicted that the City Council will approve the settlement. That would undo its 4-1 vote in 2012 to reject the request by Islamic leaders to place the worship center in the building. “We welcome the Islamic Center to the city of St. Anthony,” he said.