Federal Judge Says N.J. Town Unconstitutionally Blocked Mosque

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The former mayor of a small New Jersey suburb has won a significant victory in his yearslong effort to build a mosque in town after a federal-court judge ruled local officials acted unconstitutionally in blocking the proposal.

U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp wrote in his ruling that Bernards Township officials showed “sufficient intent to discriminate on the basis of religion” against the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, which was co-founded by former Mayor Mohammad Ali Chaudry.

In the Dec. 31 ruling, the judge found that town officials treated parking requirements for the mosque—which would accommodate 150 people—differently than previous proposals to build churches and synagogues.

Adeel Mangi, who is representing the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said the ruling brings the Muslims in the town of 27,000 closer to their own house of worship. “We will not stop until the mosque is built,” Mr. Mangi said in an email.

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