Newton County will end ban, mosque project can go forward

- Officials in a Georgia county say they will lift a ban on building permits for religious institutions that had been sparked by local opposition to a mosque and Muslim cemetery.

In a statement Wednesday, Newton County commissioners say they will vote Sept. 13 on zoning changes. But those changes won't affect the mosque.

The project needs other approvals before construction can start, but Newton County officials say they will work with members on those steps.

The moratorium prompted the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the NAACP to request a federal civil rights investigation in Newton County. CAIR Georgia director Edward Mitchell thanked county officials for lifting the ban.

“Thank you to the Newton County Commissioners and to the mayors for doing the right thing. I want to say thank you to the leaders of the mosque for agreeing to delay construction while they spend more time building bridges with their neighbors,” said Mitchell.

Mohammed Islam, religious leader of the Doraville mosque proposing the project, says he plans to continue “building bridges” with neighbors.

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