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Bergen Record editorial encourages welcoming mosque as new neighbor

NJ-church-sold-to-mosqueThe Bergen Record editorial

Some type of church has stood on Irving Street in Midland Park for almost 30 years; the latest occupant is the Korean HanMaUm Reformed Church in America. That church now plans to sell the property to another religious group, which, given the site's recent history and the nation's guarantee of religious freedom, should not be a problem.

But it looks like it's becoming one. The expected buyer of the property is an Islamic group with plans to convert the church to a mosque.

That plan prompted about 100 people to oppose the mosque at a recent council meeting. It was nothing about religion, said one opponent, who then ticked off concerns with noise, traffic and parking.

Another opponent wondered if a mosque's traditional call to prayer would be blared over loudspeakers, as is common in some predominantly Muslim countries. Some asked why the municipality didn't buy the site itself, but as the mayor explained, it wasn't offered to the borough.

While many residents like their neighborhood to stay exactly the same, it's difficult to see such opposition swelling up if the Korean church were being sold to a Catholic diocese or a congregation of Presbyterians. (Read the full editorial)

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