“Court: Residents Can’t Mention ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’ At Public Hearing on Mosque Construction; Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit,” Thomas More Law Center, August 1, 2017:
ARBOR, MI – In a settlement agreement, which reads more like an
instrument of surrender, Bernards Township (“Township”), New Jersey
officials agreed that, in addition to a $3.5 million payment to Islamic
Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), residents and citizens of the
Township are prohibited from commenting on “Islam” or “Muslims.” at the
upcoming public hearing to approve the settlement. Astonishingly, a
federal judge approved the prohibition as a fully enforceable Order of
As a result of this suppression of speech, the Thomas
More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in
Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday, filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey
Federal District Court on behalf of Christopher and Loretta Quick. The
lawsuit was filed by TMLC affiliated New Jersey attorney, Michael
Hrycak. Mr. Hrycak was assisted by TMLC staff attorney, Tyler Brooks.
The TMLC is representing the Quicks without charge.
alleges that Bernards Township’s settlement agreement constitutes a
prior restraint on speech based on content, as well as, a violation of
the Establishment Clause because it prefers Islam over other religions.
The lawsuit asks the court to: declare that the settlement agreement is
unconstitutional; and to enter a preliminary and permanent injunction
against its enforcement….
The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction
in a zoned residential area. Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits
them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which
will impact design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage,
traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements.
According to the settlement agreement, ISBR is permitted to make
statements concerning Christians and Jews and their places of worship,
but in contrast, the Agreement prohibits commentary relating to Islam or
Muslims. In fact, ISBR has previously discussed the Christian and
Jewish religions and their places of worship.
President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented:
“As we have previously documented, ISBR has taken the extraordinary step
of concealing significant links on their website to a radical group
named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the
largest terrorism financing trial in America history, the Islamic
Society of North America (“ISNA”). ISNA is claimed by the Muslim
Brotherhood as one of “our organizations.” According to internal
documents seized by the FBI, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is to
engage in a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western
civilization from within . . .”