Islamic Society of Basking Ridge v. Township of Bernards (U.S. District Court of New Jersey, 2016)

In this case, set against a backdrop of strong anti-Muslim sentiment and incidents in Bernards, New Jersey, a Muslim congregation claims that the municipality adopted a land use ordinance to block construction of its mosque. The Interfaith Coalition on Mosques (ICOM)—formed by the Anti-Defamation League in 2010 to assist Muslim communities confronting opposition to the legal building, expansion or relocation of their mosques—joined a brief filed on behalf of a coalition of nearly 20 civil rights and interfaith organizations in support of The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. The brief argues that the township’s conduct is discriminatory and violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which safeguards the religious freedom of houses of worship and other institutions in the land-use context.