Steve Chapman: Ground zero mosque: How Republicans protected the Ground zero mosque - chicagotribune.com Ten years ago, Republicans in Congress passed a major law to protect the right of Muslims to establish mosques even where such a building might be unwelcome.... The law, called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, was aimed at a common problem often ignored by the courts: local government bodies using zoning authority to prevent religious institutions from moving in or expanding their operations. It had the support of such groups as the Christian Legal Society and the Family Research Council. Rep. Charles Canady, R-Fla., said it was aimed at "the well-documented and abusive treatment suffered by religious individuals and organizations in the land use context." Sen. Orrin Hatch, R- Utah, pushed it because, he said, "At the core of religious freedom is the ability for assemblies to gather and worship together."