New Jersey town approves mosque after $3.25M settlement

Mohammad Ali Chaudry, co-founder and president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey town has approved construction of a mosque after years of debate and a $3.25 million settlement in a lawsuit.

RELATED: NJ mosque wins $3.25 million in settlement in discrimination case

The Bernards Township committee approved the plan Tuesday night (Aug. 8).

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge had sued the township last year, claiming the town changed its zoning ordinances in order to deny the group’s plans. The Justice Department also sued, alleging the town treated the group differently than it treated other religious groups.

Under terms of the settlement, the township will pay the settlement figure and allow the mosque to be built. The town also agreed to limit the zoning restrictions placed on houses of worship.

Some residents insisted that their opposition to the mosque was about the location and not religious intolerance. They said they were concerned with traffic and preserving the historic nature of Liberty Corner, a community in the township. They said the society should find another location.

But others disagreed, saying efforts to block Muslims from building the mosque were “bogus.”

Among other arguments, Justice Department officials said the town discriminated against the Islamic Society based on religion.

A similar lawsuit cost Bridgewater Township almost $8 million in a 2014 settlement.

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The Associated Press


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  • Those who denied the mosque a building permit likely include christians who are complaining about THEIR religious freedoms being curtailed and the war on Christianity.

  • It took the city 5 years and having to pay more than $3 million fine to do what is fair and right and what is supposed to be a part of our heritage as a nation. Much less, to act like Christians who welcome the stranger into their midst.

  • Yes, that may very likely be true, but there will also be Christians on the other side standing for the Muslim’s right to build the center.