Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New Jersey town used zoning to discriminate against Islam

By Jim Dwyer
A rendering of the proposed mosque in Bernards Township, N.J., which has been entangled in a protracted battle over parking spaces. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times
BERNARD'S TOWNSHIP, NJ---This is the chronicle of how a founding principle of this country, the freedom to worship, crashed into a public bureaucracy in the venerable and prosperous New Jersey suburb of Bernards Township. More than five years ago, the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge sought permits to build a mosque big enough for 150 people on a four-acre parcel, where zoning permitted houses of worship. This week, there is still no mosque — but five years of hearings and litigation about the proposal are drawing to a close. The settlement would include the building permit long denied to the Islamic Society. [More]