(SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J., 5/30/17) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today welcomed the settlement of two pending lawsuits that will allow the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (ISBR) to move forward with plans to build a mosque.
Late last year, the mosque’s application had been voted down in a decision that was challenged by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and ISBR on the grounds that ISBR was being treated unfairly under the Federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
After 39 public hearings in a process that lasted nearly four years the DOJ determined that there was sufficient evidence to sue for discriminatory practices. The settlement agreement with ISBR requires that the township pay damages of $3.25 million.
“Several New Jersey Muslim communities have been targeted by local anti-Muslim opponents to new mosque construction who attempted to hide their bigoted intentions behind zoning technicalities,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues. “In the case of Basking Ridge, these intentions were plain to see once this case went to court. We hope this case sends a message to other communities that freedom of religion is a guaranteed constitutional right, and that the Muslim community is prepared to rigorously defend its rights.”
Other Muslim Communities denied the right to establish houses of worship include the Garden State Islamic Center, and Bayonne Muslims.
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 misiÃ³n de CAIR es mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Executive Director James Sues, 908-668-5900, email@example.com