BERNARDS — Passions are running high around a proposal to build a mosque in what residents call a historic section of the town. But the president of the group trying to build the house of worship says he’d rather just stick to the legal issues.
Ali Chaudry, president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said he does not want to speculate about why so many residents seem opposed to the mosque — about 120 reportedly attended a recent meeting, and the Star-Ledger recently reported some residents are posting signs urging people to “Preserve Liberty Corner.”
The proposal, though, doesn’t require any zoning variances — there’s no prohibition on a house of worship in the area where the society wants to build. Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church is located down the street from the proposed mosque.
“We’re doing everything according to the law,” Chaudry said Thursday. “At this point, we’re in the process right now, and we want to make sure (the planning board) remains our main forum. We’re working with a complex situation.”
The Islamic Society is seeking final site plan approval to raze a home on the 4.3-acre property at 124 Church St., in the Liberty Corner section of town, and build a 4,250-square-foot house of worship in its place.
A residents group — dubbed the Bernards Township Citizens for Responsible Development — opposes the project because its members fear the mosque will increase traffic congestion in a residential area, according to its website.
A similar situation occurred in Bridgewater last year, when a mosque construction proposal was successfully fought by township residents who cited concerns of increased traffic, and the issue has been stuck in federal court ever since. Bridgewater Administrator James Naples has told The Star-Ledger he believed there could be a trial by the end of the year.
Here are a few more concerns:
- Terror-linked speakers (they link to the Muslim Brotherhood-linked unindicted co-conspirator to the Holy Land conviction ISNA on their website)
- Foreign funding
- Anti-American and pro-sharia protests
- Islamic call to prayer
- Attempts to enforce sharia (think liquor stores)
- Property values and incongruence with historic nature of Liberty Corner
To wit, NJ.com reached out for comment to the Why Islam? dawah group whose founder wrote on his website that “showing happiness and joy on Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Good Friday is like shaking hands with Satan” and “Islam came to tear down the pillars of kufr and replace them with the pillars of Islam.”
So yes, now is the time to Preserve Liberty Corner!!!
You can show support on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PreserveLibertyCorner
Please do those directly involved in this situation a huge favor and don’t leave rude, obnoxious comments like many leave here that will only give fuel to groups like CAIR and be used against the citizens of the area who are trying to preserve their quiet and still pristine neighborhood.