Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Asst Attorney General said local officials have an obligation to treat a mosque the same as a church or synagogue. "It is required by federal law.'', says Perez.
Perez and Jerry E. Martin, the top federal prosecutor in central Tennessee, noted that their decision to intervene comes on the 10th anniversary of a federal law which bars local officials from using zoning or land-use laws to discriminate against religious groups.
Since 2000, the DOJ has opened 51 such investigations, filed seven lawsuits and joined in 40 privately filed suits.