Muzzling criticism of mosque at crux of appeal

Thursday, August 10, 2017
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

illustration of mosqueThomas More Law Center plans to appeal a ruling from an Obama-appointed judge that allowed a New Jersey municipality to prohibit residents from criticizing Muslims during a public hearing regarding a proposed mosque.

On Tuesday night, the Bernards Township Planning Board – along with the mayor – voted in favor of a site plan to allow the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge to move forward with plans to build a 4,250-square-foot mosque not far from a memorial erected in the memory of more than a dozen residents killed on 9/11. The Thomas More Law Center had filed a federal lawsuit against Bernards Township for prohibiting concerned citizens from commenting on "Islam" or "Muslims" at the August 8 public hearing to approve the settlement. (Read the history of the case)

Thomas More Law Center attorney
Jay Combs spoke earlier today about this case on American Family Radio.
(Listen to that interview)

Tyler Brooks, a senior trial counsel for the Thomas More Law Center, attended the Tuesday meeting. He says the judge ruled against their petition.

"It's very difficult to describe a mosque and describe its impact on the neighborhood without referencing parts of the religion and the way the practices will impact this residential neighborhood and change its character," the attorney explains.

In response, Brooks says, the law firm will appeal the ruling to the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We hope the Third Circuit will act quickly to order the town to conduct this planning board meeting again and allow a whole and fair debate consistent with the First Amendment," he tells OneNewsNow.

Brooks points out it was the Obama Justice Department that favored the Muslims over the townspeople in the first place.

"Unfortunately, of course, there are a lot of holdovers from President Obama's administration [still in the DOJ]," he adds. "It would be nice if the top of the [current] Justice Department would reach down and change its position."

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