Plaintiffs ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued in March 2016, claiming that the denial of zoning changes to permit a mosque violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) of 2000 and reflected community “religious and cultural animus against Muslims.” Within a week of the ISBR lawsuit, the Justice Department launched its own investigation and filed its own lawsuit.
While a visible link to the quotes below was once contained on the ISBR website, ISBR has now taken the extraordinary step of hiding the links from public view. Accordingly, the quotes cannot be found through a simple internet search or a view of the public portion of ISBR’s website, they can only be found by access to the direct links here:
“Ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them.”
“Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI entered the case solely to protect the constitutional rights of several Bernards Township citizens who exercised their fundamental right to publicly oppose proposed zoning changes.
These private citizens had no authority to deny the zoning application; nor did they have any official role in the Township. Nevertheless, they were served with burdensome and harassing subpoenas which demanded: all their email addresses and social media accounts; all personal documents including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam; any object inscribed with or containing the words “Preserve Liberty Corner,” or anti-mosque signs, flyers, banners, email messages, or pamphlets, distributed or otherwise existing at any time within the Township. In addition, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) lawyers began a new front of intimidation by directly contacting these private citizens, asking them to come in for interviews concerning the mosque.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, stated: “Under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Justice Department, using politically driven DOJ attorneys, weaponized itself against fundamental constitutional principles to intimidate American citizens with whom they disagreed. Immediately after the San Bernardino terrorist attack and just months before DOJ inserted itself into this case, Ms. Lynch made the infamous statement chilling free speech: ‘…when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric…. when we see that we will take action.’ This is exactly what happened to the citizens of Bernards Township. DOJ attorneys initiated a deep state inquisition, seeking to bring citizens objecting to the mosque in for questioning.”
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.