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Pennsylvania community gets what it deserves after banning construction of mosque

12:05 PM | 22 Jul, 2016
Pennsylvania community gets what it deserves after banning construction of mosque
NEW YORK - The United States Justice Department is taking the Bensalem township in Pennsylvania to court after its municipal board’s denied a zoning application to a mosque and effectively barred its construction. The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday, accuses the town's officials of discriminating against the local Muslim organization on the basis of religion.

The Bensalem Township violated the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act when its board in 2014 rejected a zoning request that would have allowed the Bensalem Masjid to build a mosque in the town, Justice Department attorneys wrote in their complaint.


“Our Constitution protects the rights of religious communities to build places of worship free from unlawful interference and unnecessary barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.  “The Department of Justice will continue to challenge unjustified local zoning actions around the country when they encroach upon this important civil right.”


Members of the local Muslim community sought to build a mosque after years of renting a local fire hall to carry out worship services. In 2012, the Bensalem Masjid organization met with elected officials to discuss options for building a 17,000-square-foot mosque on land adjacent to the township.

But the board, which ultimately rejected the application in a 4-0 vote, treated other groups “more favorably than it treated the Bensalem’s Masjid’s application throughout the variance process.”

Bensalem Township, with a  population of 60,000, is located some 30 kilometers northeast of Philadelphia, where there is reportedly no mosque. Muslim residents of the township currently meet for Friday prayers at a rented fire station hall.

The writer is a civil servant.

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Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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