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Pew Forum: Controversies over Mosques and Islamic Centers across the U.S.

October 4, 2010

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This interactive map from Pew Forum provides brief overviews of community resistance to 35 mosques proposed to be built in the United States within the past two years.

This map shows the locations of 35 proposed mosques and Islamic centers that have encountered community resistance in the last two 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 Louisville Courier-Journal and the Associated Press about newly opened mosques in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

On Sept. 22, 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. The Department of Justice is currently monitoring 11 cases of potential land-use discrimination against Muslims, according to Reuters.

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