WBEZ | CIOGC http://www.wbez.org/tags/ciogc Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Muslim group objects to DuPage zoning rules http://www.wbez.org/story/muslim-group-objects-dupage-zoning-rules-90626 <p><div style="background-color: transparent;"><p>A group of Muslim organizations in the Chicago area is calling on DuPage County's Board to review its zoning policies, saying they may violate a federal law that protects religious institutions. The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is particularly concerned about the case of the Pin Oak Mosque, which was denied permission to build a dome in excess of the county’s 36-foot height restriction last week. The mosque’s leaders want to build the house of worship in unincorporated residential DuPage County, near west suburban Lombard.</p><p>Dr. Mohammed Zaher Sahloul, head of the CIOGC, said he’s troubled by this because this is the second mosque that has recently run into trouble with the county’s height variations. Another, the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America, was denied permission to build a minaret, though the rest of the project was approved. Speaking of the Pin Oak project, Sahloul said he hopes the recent dome denial won’t kill the rest of the project. “I hope it's only (a) technical issue that can be dealt with,” said Sahloul. “Hopefully the permit can happen, and it's not a pattern of rejection of houses of worship in DuPage County.”</p><p>Sahloul said domes and minarets are just as symbolically important to Muslim houses of worship as spires and bell towers are to churches. But some county board members say the burden lies with zoning applicants to prove that without an exemption to county rules, they would experience hardship. The application for the height exemption was separate from the county’s consideration of the rest of the mosque development. The county’s Zoning Board of Appeals is expected to vote on the rest of the proposal at its August 23rd meeting.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></div></p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/muslim-group-objects-dupage-zoning-rules-90626 Egypt news excites Chicago Muslims http://www.wbez.org/story/ciogc/egypt-news-excites-chicago-muslims <p><p>News of the resignation of Egypt&rsquo;s thirty-year ruler Hosni Mubarak sent waves of excitement through the Chicago area&rsquo;s Muslim community as they went to afternoon prayer services Friday. Egyptian-American worshipers at the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, cried with relief as they called the change a &ldquo;watershed moment&rdquo; in the history of Egypt and the Middle East. &ldquo;We are so proud,&rdquo; said Raba Gomaa during a press conference arranged by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago.</p> <div>Though the change in Egypt&rsquo;s regime was announced just hours before the service began, it was the topic of Sheikh Jamal Said&rsquo;s sermon. &ldquo;We would like to congratulate our brothers and sisters in Egypt,&rdquo; said Said. &ldquo;The tyrant is gone, <span>Elhamdulillah. The tyrant is gone.&rdquo; In the women&rsquo;s worship space below, female congregants jubilantly greeted each other with the Arabic phrase that has become a refrain during the weeks of protest: &ldquo;Tahya Masr!&rdquo; (&ldquo;Long Live Egypt&rdquo;).</span></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The high emotions followed a period of deep despondency that set in with many Thursday, when Mubarak indicated in a speech that he had no intention of stepping down.&nbsp;But Karima Mohamed, who left Egypt roughly 20 years ago, said when she heard that speech she knew Mubarak&rsquo;s time was coming to an end. &ldquo;After two minutes we know something (was going to) happen,&rdquo; said Mohamed. &ldquo;The people (would) not accept it because he tried to play a game on the people, but the people over there, they're more smarter than what he did.&rdquo;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Others at the service said they believe the change in Egypt will ripple through the rest of the Middle East. &ldquo;There&rsquo;s 22 Arabic-speaking countries,&rdquo; said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, president of the CIOGC. &ldquo;Two of them are right now free: Tunisia and Egypt. Twenty are left.&rdquo;&nbsp;Oussama Jamal, Vice President of the Mosque Foundation, expressed similar hopes that the developments in Egypt won&rsquo;t stop at that country&rsquo;s borders. &ldquo;We hope it is a cold, and everybody will catch it soon,&rdquo; he said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Many of the Egyptian-Americans said they are confident that their countrymen will successfully steer through the transition period to a peaceful and fair democracy, and they&rsquo;re looking forward to helping in any way they can. &ldquo;In ten years you can see you can see Egypt not less than Europe or America,&rdquo; said Mohamed. &ldquo;It will be in the top again, insh&rsquo;Allah.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 23:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/ciogc/egypt-news-excites-chicago-muslims