Controversies Over Mosques and Islamic Centers Across the U.S

This map shows the locations of 37 proposed mosques and Islamic centers that have encountered community resistance in the last three years. Click on a location for a brief overview of the project based on news reports. In many cases, the opposition has centered on neighbors’ concerns about traffic, noise, parking and property values – the same objections that often greet churches and other houses of worship as well as commercial construction projects. In some communities, however, opponents of mosques also have cited fears about Islam, sharia law and terrorism.

While the map shows only projects that have met resistance, many mosques and Islamic centers have been built in recent years with little or no opposition. See, for example, articles in the Chicago Tribune and the Chattanooga Times Free Press about recent mosque proposals in DuPage County, Ill., and Chattanooga, Tenn.

On Sept. 22, 2010, the Department of Justice released a report on cases of discrimination against mosques, synagogues, churches and other religious sites since 2000, when the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects places of worship and other religious uses of property from discrimination and unreasonably burdensome regulation, was signed into law. Of the 26 Department of Justice investigations of potential land-use discrimination involving mosques over the past decade, 16 were launched in the past 15 months, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Updated Sept. 29, 2011: Mosque proposals in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Bridgewater, N.J., have been added to the interactive. Many entries also have been updated.

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