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Pennsylvania community gets what it deserves after banning construction of mosque

Haider Ali 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.

Haider Ali

The writer is a civil servant.

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KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on January 26, 2023 (Thursday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 237.55 240.15
Euro EUR 272.5 275
UK Pound Sterling GBP 308.5 311.5
U.A.E Dirham AED 68 68.6
Saudi Riyal SAR 66.4 67
Australian Dollar AUD 176 178
Bahrain Dinar BHD 615.68 620.18
Canadian Dollar CAD 186 188
China Yuan CNY 34.12 34.37
Danish Krone DKK 33.83 34.18
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 29.52 29.87
Indian Rupee INR 2.81 2.89
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 756.69 761.69
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 52.59 53.04
New Zealand Dollar NZD 148.33 149.53
Norwegians Krone NOK 22.43 22.73
Omani Riyal OMR 600.37 604.87
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 63.5 64
Singapore Dollar SGD 178 179.3
Swedish Korona SEK 21.78 22.08
Swiss Franc CHF 250.23 251.98
Thai Bhat THB 6.98 7.08

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs190,900 on Thursday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs163,670.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs150,300 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 173,200.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Karachi PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Islamabad PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Peshawar PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Quetta PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Sialkot PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Attock PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Gujranwala PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Jehlum PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Multan PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Bahawalpur PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Gujrat PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Nawabshah PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Chakwal PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Hyderabad PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Nowshehra PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Sargodha PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Faisalabad PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100
Mirpur PKR 190,900 PKR 2,100

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