New Jersey: Mosque takes over church, quickly disrupt neighbors quality of life

Former home of the Richfield Christian Reformed Church – now a mosque and public nuisance

Source: Unhappy Clifton mosque neighbors – Town Government – NorthJersey.com

CLIFTON – A new Richfield mosque’s leadership shot back at fierce critics who claimed its burgeoning congregation created parking and quality of life issues during the month-long Muslim celebration of Ramadan.

The Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) held its grand opening on June 3 at 259 Pershing Road, the former home of the Richfield Christian Reformed Church. In the weeks which followed, incensed residents complained that worshipers tied up nearby residential streets, blocked driveways and, on one occasion, parked in front of a fire hydrant.

A contentious debate spilled over into the Clifton City Council’s July 5 meeting.

“I’ve approached this council three times now and, to date, [received] no answers, no solutions and an enormous amount of lip service,” said Mary Fran Simmons-Falluca. “I am angry.”

Officials countered that City Manager Dominick Villano and Clifton Councilwoman Lauren Murphy have met with the mosque’s decision-makers to rectify the problem.

A Pershing Road resident, Simmons-Falluca said car headlights light up neighborhood homes “like Christmas trees” and that she was unable to get out of her own driveway on Saturday. During last weekend’s end of Ramadan celebration, she said more than 500 congregants converged on the neighborhood which, she said, “without a doubt” exceeds the volume the area can accommodate.

According to ICPC officials, the mosque has formed a volunteer crew to self-police anyone blocking driveways or fire hydrants on Pershing.

“The problem for the mosque is that [Richfield Christian Reformed Church] was a sleepy hollow because it was dwindling and dwindling and dwindling in numbers,” Mayor James Anzaldi said. “So, now it’s a vibrant congregation and we’re in need of solving a parking issue there.”

The mayor said the City’s administration and council members have discussed the possibility of constructing a parking lot on the mosque’s three-acre property.

Councilman Joe Kolodziej said the municipal body hears and agrees with the complaints residents registered but stipulated government is “a large wheel” that turns slowly.

“Once it gets moving you have momentum but that takes a lot of time, consideration and effort,” he added. “So, to all the people who think that this council is not listening to the complaints I can assure you that that is not the case. We share those concerns.”

Kolodziej opined the over-parking in the area is an example of the new house of worship experiencing “growing pains.”

The Islamic group’s outreach coordinator, Salaheddin Mustafa, contended there should no longer be an overflow of parked cars since Ramadan ended. He said the ICPC expects Ramadan to present a “one-month” issue each year.

“But, we want to be good neighbors,” said Mustafa, whose Donna Drive home is a few blocks from the mosque’s property. “I want that neighborhood to be quiet as well and I don’t want my property value to go down either.”

Mustafa said the group is “willing to do anything” to resolve the problem but prefaced that the community must trust the Islamic organization. He added that anyone who parks in front of a fire hydrant is “an idiot who should be ticketed and towed” but stipulated that the mosque should not be blamed for the mistake of one individual.

The tone of Tuesday’s meeting escalated during the public recognition portion.

At the close of Simmons-Falluca’s comments, she held up a photograph which she said showed Councilwoman Murphy dressed “in the garment of a Muslim.” Simmons-Falluca said the image “rattled her to no end” before demanding that Murphy step down from the Council, claiming she was “in conflict of interest” and that she “clearly is not working for all taxpayers.”

Anzaldi came to the defense of his council colleague, stating that he wears a yarmulke whenever he attends a Jewish funeral or removes his shoes if it is customary when entering a particular church.

“That’s just respect for the house of worship,” Anzaldi said. “So, if a member of public life wears something to show respect for that religion, that’s what America’s about. Freedom of religion is such an important thing for all of us.”

Murphy, a Catholic, said she covered her head “out of respect” for the mosque.

“I am concerned as a resident and father of four kids by the nature of some of the commentary,” said Mustafa. “Given the rhetoric out there by political candidates, it’s not easy being a Muslim nowadays.”

He said Murphy’s decision to wear a head cover at the mosque’s grand opening was “the respectful thing” to do. “To call that anything other than a nice gesture, or to intimate that has anything to do with a bad intention, tells me a lot about the people that we’re dealing with,” he continued. “I leave this dais thinking less of our City. I know it impacts people but this is a small issue I hope our City can overcome.”

Councilman Bill Gibson, who lives near the mosque, said he and Mustafa had a positive meeting on Sunday and referred to him as “a gentleman.” The retired City police officer said the Council will work together with the Islamic center and Richfield section residents to resolve the issue.

“We need to have cooperation for peoples’ right to worship,” Councilman Steve Hatala said. “However, we have to know that quality of life and respect for peoples’ properties are equally as important. I haven’t gotten any feeling that the leadership of the new house of worship is not looking to cooperate or trying to impede the quality of life of residents. Time will tell as that unfolds.”

Gibson echoed Simmons-Falluca’s frustration with the City’s delay in striping Pershing Road. Had the lines been placed on the street on time and before the final days of Ramadan, Gibson believes Tuesday night’s meeting might not have been marred with charged remarks.

“Anytime we start something new it’s difficult to think of every contingency,” Kolodziej said. “You learn from mistakes and improve as you move along. And I believe that’s going to be the case here.”

Villano said the striping will be applied no later than the beginning of next week and vowed it will be in place at Springdale Road, Rosedale Avenue and in front of the fire hydrants before the Council’s July 19 meeting.

To further improve the situation, officials are exploring the possibility of mosque parishioners parking their vehicles on Clifton Avenue and a neighboring bank which border the rear of the property.

Omar Awad, president of the ICPC, said the Clifton congregation is comforted to worship in “a town that respects diversity.” He repeated several times on Tuesday that the center will “do whatever it takes” to preserve the neighborhood’s “tranquility.”

When the ICPC announced its entry into Clifton, Mustafa said the group was “very thankful” because it is “much easier” to be Muslim in Clifton than in many other places. “But, I’m starting to wonder if that’s true, given the reaction to parking issues and ascribing a parking issue with something that has to do with the [Mustlim] faith,” he said.

The Islamic center acquired the Pershing Road property for $3.5 million in April from the reformed church, whose membership began a steady decline over the last two decades. The Muslim organization said it purchased the property due to a need for additional space because its Paterson mosque could no longer keep up with its growing congregation.


This council sounds similar to the Twin Falls, Idaho council that demeaned and scolded residents who wanted answers on the rape of a 5-year old girl by Muslim refugees. And these are exactly the reasons cities reject mosque proposals only to have the Dept. of Jihad force them on citizens.

Video on the parking problem here.

One resident sees the duplicity of elected officials in the town and questions their ability to remain impartial. via: Councilwoman’s headscarf becomes issue in Clifton – Towns – NorthJersey.com

Resident Mary Fran Fallucca complained to the City Council about a massive spillover of cars onto the streets surrounding the Islamic Center of Passaic County on Pershing Road. She said that Murphy could not be impartial because of her apparent devotion to the Muslim faith.

“In my opinion, you should step down from this council because you are in conflict of interest,” Fallucca said, flashing a photo of the councilwoman wearing a gray headscarf. “You clearly aren’t working for all taxpayers.”

Fallucca on Wednesday said her comments had been twisted to seem as though she were anti-Muslim. “They’re trying to nail me, ‘I’m not liking these people,’x” she said. “That has nothing to do with it.”

She also maintained that Murphy should not be involved in any future meetings between mosque leaders and the city or in any decisions that would affect the house of worship.

She has way too much loyalty to the mosque,” Fallucca said. “You also have to have a loyalty to the taxpayers, and I’m not seeing it.”

Councilwoman Lauren Murphy, left, wore a headscarf last month for a Clifton ceremony. [courtesy of lauren murphy]

While no clear solution emerged on Tuesday to the parking problem around the mosque, officials said they expected to see a good deal of relief with the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which concluded on Tuesday.

Even so, Councilman Peter Eagler suggested a meeting between the neighborhood and the mosque – a recommendation first advanced by the Rev. Mike Weber of the United Reformed Church, who stayed for the meeting after delivering its invocation.


It will be more than just Ramadan. Does anyone think this hijab-wearing councilwoman  will dare challenge anyone at the mosque? The entire council sounds impotent, defending the mosque only.

Councilman Peter Eagler in particular. Why should the neighborhood have to clean up the mess that the city allowed to arise and continue to fester? Why aren’t city officials enforcing the laws and ordinances that everyone else in the city have to abide by? Why aren’t the police ticketing and towing cars? This is exactly why there are zoning laws. But Muslims seem to be exempt from such laws.

If you live in the area, let your elected officials know.

(pictured L to R) Hatala | Gibson | Mayor Anzaldi | Murphy | Grabowski | Eagler | Kolodziej

(pictured L to R) Hatala | Gibson | Mayor Anzaldi | Murphy | Grabowski | Eagler | Kolodziej

Mayor and Council 

Mayor James Anzaldi  |  janzaldi@cliftonnj.org
900 Clifton Avenue
Clifton, NJ 07013 (973) 470-5757

Municipal Council

Councilman Peter C. Eagler  |  peagler@cliftonnj.org

Councilman William Gibson | wgibson@cliftonnj.org

Councilman Raymond Grabowski | rgrabowski@cliftonnj.org

Councilman Steven Hatala, Jr.  |  shatala@cliftonnj.org

Councilman Joseph C. Kolodziej   |   jkolodziej@cliftonnj.org

Councilwoman Lauren E. Murphy | lmurphy@cliftonnj.org

 

City Manager

Dominick Villano
dvillano@cliftonnj.org
(973) 470-5854

 

17 Responses

  1. SHARED to my public Fb with my comment:

    Mike Kiljom

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

    COMING TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD IF YOU KEEP LETTING THOSE BRAIN DEAD LIBERALS IN DC HAVE THEIR WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. With 500 vehicles you would think the building had exceeded it’s capacity for the number of people present. I wonder if anyone thought to mention that critical fire safety issue.

  3. Muslims haven’t figured out yet that their status in America is similar to the Jews of Germany in 1933. Get ready. America will soon be rid of them.

  4. running out the Christians, what’s new???? maybe it could catch on fire???

  5. well i know what i would do if my driveway was blocked
    are all the citizen of this country complaisant wimps ?????
    wake up america you need to stop them before they infiltrate your neighborhood

  6. On schedule : 1. Mosque, 2. Make life miserable for the kafir’s untill they are forced to sell their property at a loss. 3. Move in muslim families. 4. Make a muslim enclave to keep non-muslims out. 5. Form militant groups to sabotage and attack the infrastructure. With 4 wives under welfare allowed to muslims their growth is parabolic.

  7. An automobile at any time may contain, on average, 15 gallons of gasoline. I believe the military call such an object an IED.

  8. What in God’s Name were these people thinking? It would have been better to take a complete loss on this property rather than sell the church to MUZZLUMZ! This is exactly how these BLOOD-THIRSTY cretins get their foot in the door! Roxbury (Boston) practically “gave away” the property where the two Marathon bombers attended mosque (thank you, Gov. Duval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino)! MUZZLUMZ are scum and will stab you in the back every time! I just LUV how this Mustafa cretin tells the residents here that they just have to “TRUST” their muzzlum neighbors!!!!! WHAT A CROCK OF REAL SHIITTT!!!!! Never ever trust a MUZZLUM!!! NEVER, EVER…..

  9. American politicians have gone nuts! The Muslims do not ASSIMILATE, they simply INFILTRATE! Why is it so hard to understand?

  10. “The mayor said the City’s administration and council members have discussed the possibility of constructing a parking lot on the mosque’s three-acre property.”

    Hmmm, why is the CITY building a parking lot on a mosque property? If the Muslims bought the property for $3.5 million, they have the money to build their own freaking parking lot! The politicians in this town are utter imbeciles.

    • Not just that town, almost every town across America. There are zoning laws for a reason. Muslims are exempt however. We call this “zoning jihad” and have a category of posts dedicated to examples of it. See above and click the link. Btw, a new parking lot won’t ease the traffic or noise, it will elevate it and invite even more Muslims in more frequently.

      Our comment from the post above: “Does anyone think this hijab-wearing councilwoman will dare challenge anyone at the mosque? The entire council sounds impotent, defending the mosque only.”

  11. “Given the rhetoric out there by political candidates, it’s not easy being a muslim nowadays.” More accurately, Given the increasing violence out there by supported by certain politicians, it’s not easy being non-muslim these days.

    • @Roland Rackham. Yeah, I know, Roland!!! Just think, these g-damnd perverted nut-case sickos have to “endure” these ohh, SOOO harsh and “insensitive” “prejudiced” comments like this one from me, and all we “non-muslims” have to worry about is getting our heads slowly hacked off with a dull Walmart pocket knife, while we’re out doing our grocery shopping with our wife-n-kids!!!!! And ‘Creeping’ really hit the proverbial nail right on the head–just imagine this ‘burka-bag-lady’ councilwoman trying to stand up to the MUZZLUM COLONISTS….The ones that just ripped away her American Constitution and Bill of Rights and replaced it with a diabolical 7th century book of LIES FROM HELL!!!!! Oh geez, why don’t I say what I really mean?????

  12. If it is against your own law then make a case of it and do so now

If sharia law continues spreading, you'll have less and less freedom of speech - so speak while you can!

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