DOJ Investigates Denial of Mosque in NJ Town

An artist's rendering of the proposed mosque.

Residents opposing the building of the mosque in their town have concerns that it could be a haven for terrorists.

Bernard Township’s former mayor, Mohammed Ali Chaudry, and the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (ISBR) filed a lawsuit against the township and 15 planning board members, claiming the application was denied due to anti-Muslim rhetoric.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Related News:  DOJ Announces “Promote Religious Freedom” Plan[/pullquote]

From | NEWARK — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the decision by Bernards Township authorities to deny a Muslim community’s application to build a mosque in the township, a spokesman for the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s office in Newark has confirmed.

The investigation will look into whether the township violated the rights of members of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge over its prolonged, and ultimately failed, application to build a mosque on Church Street, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The Islamic society and its president, Mohammad Ali Chaudry, last week filed a federal lawsuit against the township and 15 members of the Township Committee and the Planning Board, charging that they manufactured reasons to deny the application — even changing the zoning ordinance to make building new houses of worship difficult, if not impossible.

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