Sunday, June 04, 2017

23.2 - Good News: NJ Town must pay penalty mosque for wrongful denial of permit

Good News: NJ Town must pay penalty mosque for wrongful denial of permit

This however, I think is Good News. Consider it a blow against the empire of fear.

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, NJ, wanted to build a mosque in upscale Bernards Township.

The town said no, claiming land use and safety concerns.

One was parking because, the town said, Friday afternoon was peak worship time and where are all those people going to park? Except the town hadn't assessed the worship habits and times of those attending churches or synagogues when applications were made for those structures.

Oh, but zoning laws said the parcel for a house of worship had to be at least six acres, bigger than the lot the Islamic Society had purchased. Except that was never a requirement until the proposal for the mosque came up and eight of 11 other houses of worship in the town, all built before the change, are on lots smaller than six acres.

A federal judge didn't buy the excuses and on December 31 ruled in favor of both the Islamic Society and the DOJ in their suits against the township. The result is that on May 31 it was determined that Barnards Township must pay the Islamic Society $3.25 million as a result of its wrongful denial of a permit.

I have said any number of times that bigotry must be made to pay a price. This, then, must be considered Good News.

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