Feds suing Michigan community after mosque plan denial

Federal prosecutors are suing a Detroit suburb after a religious organization's proposal for a mosque in a residential neighborhood was denied.

The U.S. Attorney's office filed the suit Thursday in federal court against Sterling Heights.

Planning commissioners voted in 2015 against a special land agreement sought by the American Islamic Community Center.

Some residents protested the plan, citing traffic congestion and other concerns. Mosque supporters said the issue was anti-Muslim bias.

The lawsuit says the denial constitutes discrimination on the basis of religion and imposed a "burden on the religious exercise" of the center.

Sterling Heights says Thursday that the center's application denial was not based on "emotional feelings tied to religious beliefs either for or against the applicant."

The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from the center.