CULPEPER, Va. (WUSA9) -- A local board voted against issuing a permit to a mosque in Culpepper on Wednesday.
The decision was rare, and members of the Islamic Center of Culpeper tell WUSA9 it was the result of discrimination.
"[Board members] say we received a lot of emails a lot of phone calls saying they don't want Islamic Center of Culpeper over here because of something in Europe," Mohammad Nawabe told WUSA.
Nawabe, the President of the Islamic Center of Culpeper, says at least twenty Muslims meet to pray in an old house on Brandy Road every Friday.
However, he says, it's a temporary meeting place because the Islamic Center doesn't have their "own place to pray."
Months ago, the center found a piece of land to build a permanent Mosque - in a different part of the county.
As they began to layout building plans, Nawabe says he realized they'd need a pump-and-haul septic system.
In Culpeper, it's something that require a permit from the Board of Supervisors.
Nawabe says he knew that, and he gathered all of the proper documents.
"Everything," he said. "Whatever they want I gave it to them."
Since 1995, the Board of Supervisors has considered 19 permits just like it - according to the Culpeper Times, they approved all but one.
On Thursday they denied Nawabe's.
When the decision was announced, Nawabe told WUSA9, "people started clapping and just cheering."
Bill Chase, a member of the board, says he can't remember the last time the Board of Supervisors denied this type of permit, but he insists the decision had nothing to do with religion.
"There were three deciding factors on this one. They hadn't bought the property yet - they still haven't - so they don't own it. There's nobody on it right now. There's a house that's falling down and they had no schedule on when they'd be on it," he explained.
"Our laws," Chase added, "the ordinances say emergency use and this was not an emergency."
Nawabe doesn't buy it, and tells WUSA9 he's reached out to an attorney.