Two towns in America were feeling the wrath of the Department of Justice after they refused to approve plans that were put forward to build mosques.
The DOJ claimed that the Bernards Township Planning Board in New Jersey was discriminatory in denying the building permit for a mosque by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, The Daily Caller reported.
“But here, township officials kept moving the goalposts by using ever-changing local requirements to effectively deny this religious community the same access as other faiths,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman claimed.
For its part, the town has denied that it did anything wrong, and implied that the DOJ and the ISBR had been working together long before the permit had been rejected.
“The Township maintains that the Planning Board denial was based on legitimate land use and safety concerns which Plaintiffs refused, and to this day, refuse to address,” the town explained in a statement.
The DOJ has also sued Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania, over its rejection of zoning approval for a mosque. As with the case in New Jersey, the DOJ claimed that the town imposed excessive standards on those wishing to build the mosque.
Cases involving the denial of a permit to build a mosque (or any other house of worship for that matter) can be tricky because it can rarely ever be crystal clear whether the permit was denied because of bigotry or because of more legitimate reasons.
Hopefully these two cases can be worked out to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
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