BENSALEM, Pa. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department is suing a suburban Philadelphia town, alleging its denial of a permit for a mosque in 2014 constituted religious discrimination.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the suit was filed Thursday and seeks to have Bensalem give the Bensalem Masjid approval to build the mosque, provide training for township employees on religious land-use laws and pay unspecified damages.
The Bensalem Masjid has been involved in litigation with the town since 2014. Roman Storzer, the Masjid's lead attorney in a federal lawsuit filed against the town, says the Justice Department's lawsuit demonstrates the seriousness of the problem in the town.
Bensalem solicitor Joseph Pizzo says the town is disappointed by the filing and has been working with the Justice Department since the Masjid's lawsuit was filed.