NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has sued a New Jersey town that blocked an Islamic group from building a mosque on property it owns.
The complaint filed Tuesday alleges the town of Bernards discriminated against the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge by amending its zoning ordinances and treating the group differently than it treated other religious groups.
The Islamic society sued the town in federal court in March, several months after its application to build the mosque was denied after more than three years and 39 public hearings.
That lawsuit alleges town residents made references to terrorism and questioned what children would learn in the mosque.
The town responded in a court filing that it was more concerned with issues such as storm water management, lighting and fire safety.
This story corrects that the Islamic group’s lawsuit was filed in March, not April.