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Feds Sue Virginia County for Blocking Sewer Permit for Mosque

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CULPEPER, Va. (AP) - The Justice Department is suing Culpeper County, alleging the board of supervisors acted in a discriminatory manner when it denied a sewage permit for a proposed mosque.

The Justice Department filed the suit Monday, asking a federal court to order the county to grant the necessary permit to the Islamic Center of Culpeper. There is no mosque in the county, which is about 70 miles southwest of Washington. About 12 to 20 Muslims have been praying at a temporary site, and wished to build a permanent site.

An April vote that effectively blocked the mosque was on sewage disposal. The suit alleges the county has approved 26 such permits since 1992, but denied the Islamic Center of Culpeper a permit for religious reasons.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.