Monday, August 14, 2017

NJ: Bernards Township Forbids Citizens From Criticizing Islam Or Muslims… Residents Are Furious

The speech restriction applies only to discussions during  council meetings but since it concerns a religion -- Islam -- is clearly bigoted.  Discussions of Muslim practice are surely highly relevant in discussing the building of a mosque.  The mosque has now been finally approved subject to a number of restrictions.  The court-ordered $3.25 million settlement is $1.5 million in damages and $1.75 million in legal expenses.

According to reports from World Net Daily, a New Jersey township that was sued by a group of Muslims for refusing to approve a massive mosque project is now returning to court because of a settlement agreement that restricts anyone from commenting on “Islam” or “Muslims.”

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge won a decision in federal court after its mosque proposal was rejected based on traffic and other concerns. The Township agreed on a $3.5. million payment and a “public hearing to approve the settlement.”

Residents Christopher and Loretta Quick challenged the agreement, arguing it restricts speech and violates the Establishment Clause.

“The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction in a zoned residential area,” Thomas More explained. “Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which will impact the design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage, traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements.

“ISBR is setting a dangerous unconstitutional precedent by abusing a court process to chill and trample on the First Amendment rights of private citizens whose only involvement was to speak out against the mosque at public hearings,” Thompson said earlier this year.



Bird of Paradise said...

So now the Fools of some New Jersey Township slap speech codes on their citizens over saying the truth about to so called Religion of Peace? looks like the village is run by the Idiots while the ciitizen's remain common sense

Anonymous said...

The speech restriction applies only to discussions during council meetings but since it concerns a religion.....

Factually false.

The order applies only to a Special Planning Board hearing to approve the final site plan of the mosque. At such quasi-judicial hearings, the subject is always restricted to whether the plan meets code. That's it. Any other testimony (and it is testimony under oath) is not allowed.

The Planning Board of the township originally denied the permit for building after 39 hearings based on the idea that neighbors and didn't want a mosque in the area. Even though the town had other houses of worship from different faiths, residents didn't want a mosque. The mosque went to court and the court found that the mosque was legal and religion was the only reason the mosque's plan was denied.

The Planning Board violated the First Amendment to the extent that the court found their behavior so egregious they were told to pay costs and damages. Considering that sovereign and qualified immunity is very hard to pierce, the awarding of the money shows the extent of the town's violations of the First Amendment. The Town then slowplayed the application and plans. The mosgue went back to court and won there again.

The judge's ruling and order is in fact proper.

Whether or not the site plan fits the building codes of the town shouldn't have anything to do with religion. The only question is whether the building meets code.

As to whether the mosque can mention other religions, they can do so only when comparing restrictions that may be laid on the mosque but not other houses of worship. (That was actually argued as the Planning Board put parking restrictions on the mosque that were not put on churches in the town. Once again, that's a clear violation of the First Amendment and most likely state law which requires buildings of similar use to be treated the same when it comes to codes and special exemptions.)

It is a shame that this site looked at another site instead of looking at the court documents to see what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Islam is evil !

Anonymous said...

we're getting closer and closer to Sharia Law. Must not criticize Islam.

Spurwing Plover the Fighting Shorebird said...


Anonymous said...

The order is not about criticizing Islam or not.

The order is to make sure the site plan is judged on its conforming to the law and the codes of the township. Whether a town requires X number of parking spaces per square foot of under roof space or Y number of parking spaces per square foot under roof has nothing to do with religion.

When you start to condemn a building based on the religion of the people that will use it, you are no better than the people who do want to install Sharia law or the Taliban. You are just as much of a terrorist as they are and your hatred of the Constitution and freedom is clear for all to see.

Anonymous said...

cutting someone's tongue out (basically the same thing here) is not proving him wrong its saying to the world that you fear what he might say!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:40 - thank you for the additional information.
While I agree entirely that the town's planning powers can and should only be used for proper planning purposes, and that the only relevant considerations are planning ones (and not religious ones) is it the case that members of the public are prohibited from commenting on religion at the hearing?
If so, any order or agreement that supresses an individual's rights to express their opinion in a public forum is a concern...