(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 3/7/17) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today decried the decision taken yesterday by the Bayonne Zoning Board to deny the establishment of a Muslim community center at 109 East 24th St. as “bias-motivated.”
The 4-3 vote in favor of the center which required 5 votes to pass came at the conclusion of a raucous 5-hour public meeting that included recitations from the Quran that were intended to paint Muslims in a negative light, as well as questions raised regarding the “belief system” of the local Muslim community.
“As has happened with several New Jersey Muslim communities, local anti-Muslim opponents to new Mosque construction have attempted to hide their bigoted intentions behind zoning technicalities,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “In the case of Bayonne, these intentions were not very well hidden. The Zoning Board has a moral obligation to rule on the basis of the benefits to the community, and that includes community members of all faiths.”
He noted that the Facebook page maintained by the local opposition to the Mosque included an image of the world Trade Center, a negative quote regarding Islam from Winston Churchill, and featured sign that read “Democracy or Sharia Law”
Other Muslim Communities denied the right to establish houses of worship include The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, and the Garden State Islamic Center.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, firstname.lastname@example.org