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Judge OKs suburban Chicago Islamic center

Published: Sunday, March 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

NAPERVILLE – A federal judge has reversed a county board’s decision to prevent an Islamic education facility from operating in suburban Chicago.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer says she expects the DuPage County Board to approve a request from the Irshad Learning Center.

The board denied a conditional-use permit for the facility in 2010, after nearly two years of debate.

Board members said they were concerned about the center operating in a residential neighborhood.

Officials from Irshad filed a federal lawsuit, arguing the board violated their Constitutional right to the free practice of religion.

Pallmeyer concludes there was no direct evidence of deliberate discrimination.

But she says there’s no evidence Irshad would have any more impact than other religious institutions already operating in residential areas.

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