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Court Order Curtails Residents 1st Amendment Free Speech Rights in New Jersey

freedom of speech 1st amendment

Pj Blogger at Constitution Hall at the 1st Amendment

Court: Residents Can’t Mention “Islam” or “Muslim” At Public Hearing on Mosque Construction; Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit

August 24, 2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog and the Thomas More Law Center

Bernards Township NJ,  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 the Court.

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.

TMLC’s lawsuit 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.

Read TMLC’s entire Federal Complaint here.

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.

Richard Thompson, 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 . . .”

Thompson continued, “While claiming that the Township had a religious animus against Muslims, ISBR hid from the public view its animus toward Christians and Jews, by not only hiding anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verses published on its website, but also hiding its significant ties to ISNA. Instead of standing up to defend its citizens against ISBR’s hate-filled anti-Semitic and anti-Christian bias, the Township colluded with ISBR’s “Civilization Jihad” by capitulating to payment of millions of dollars to ISBR, allowing the construction of the new mosque and Islamic center in violation of zoning codes, and now even suppressing speech concerning Islam or Muslims at a public meeting.”

In March 2016, ISBR filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court alleging that Bernards Township had discriminated against the Islamic Society when it declined to approve the construction of a large mosque on a lot that was far too small to handle the contemplated structure.  And in November 2016, the United States represented by the U. S. Justice Department filed a second lawsuit against the Township on similar grounds. The settlement agreement covers both lawsuits.

Read the entire Settlement Agreement and Court Order here.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life.  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.

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OSU Attacker Somali refugee Ranted on Social Media ;Attack comes after ISIS’ call for jihadists to use knife attacks

Abdul Razak Ali Artan

November 29,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj, the Ridgewood blog has put together two of the most detailed articles on the latest jihadi attack on American soil.People have a right to know if their son and daughters could be in danger.

Ohio state knifeman ranted about how he was ‘sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers being killed and tortured’ on social media hours before wounding 11

Abdul Razak Ali Artan has been identified as the assailant behind a stabbing attack at OSU’s Columbus campus Monday morning
He has been described as a Somali refugee and a logistics management student at the school
Fire alarm was pulled at Watts Hall just before 10am and Artan reportedly mowed down evacuating students and staff with his car
He then got out of the vehicle and started slashing victims with a knife injuring 11 – including one critically
Responding OSU police officer Alan Harujko, 28, shot Artan dead after he failed to respond to commands
Two other men were taken from the scene in handcuffs, but police now believe there was only one attacker  The shelter in place was lifted just after 11:30am
Attack comes after ISIS’ call for jihadists to use knife attacks as they’re the most widely available weapons
Authorities are instigating Facebook post, allegedly made by Artan, which warned America to ‘stop interfering with other countries if you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks’
The posts also mention radical cleric Anwar Awlaki and states that Artan is ‘sick and tired of seeing my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters being killed and tortured EVERYWHERE. I can’t take it anymore’

By ASHLEY COLLMAN and HANNAH PARRY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 10:29 EST, 28 November 2016 | UPDATED: 20:05 EST, 28 November 2016

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3978944/Active-shooter-reported-Ohio-State-University.html#ixzz4RM944xEX

Ohio State attack: Police identify suspect as business student

The Columbus Dispatch  •  Monday November 28, 2016 8:00 PM

Monday morning dawned on the Ohio State University campus in positive fashion. Students had just returned after visits home for Thanksgiving weekend. And they were still in a celebratory mood from the Buckeyes’ football win over rival Michigan on Saturday.

Nothing would have prepared anyone for what had happened by late morning.

A student, Ohio State police say, drove a car into a group of people standing outside a campus building, throwing some into the air and running over others. The driver then jumped from the car with a butcher knife, slashing more people. Less than a minute after the attack, an OSU police officer had shot and killed the man. In the end, 11 people were injured.

The suspect has been identified as Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who was a Logistics Management major in the College of Business at Ohio State. Police said they believe he was 18 years old, though other reports have said he was 20. Records show he lived in western Franklin County, in Franklin Township. Records also show that he graduated with honors, with an associate’s degree, from Columbus State Community College in May before transferring this semester to Ohio State.


Police said the officer who shot and killed Artan is Ohio State University Police Officer Alan Horujko, 28, who has been with the police department since January 2015. He wasn’t injured.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/11/28/active-shooter.html

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Feds Sue Bernards After Township Denies Mosque Zoning Approval

Feds Sue Bernards After Township Denies Mosque Zoning Approval

By Max Pizarro • 11/22/16 3:21pm

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit today against Bernards Township, alleging a violation of the Religious

Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). The suit comes in response to the township’s denial of zoning approval to allow the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge to build a mosque on land it owns. At the time of the Islamic Society’s zoning request, construction of places of worship was a matter of right.

http://observer.com/2016/11/feds-sue-bernards-after-township-denies-mosque-zoning-approval/?utm_campaign=Observer_NJ_Politics&utm_content=New%20Campaign&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=New%20Jersey%20Politics

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What Drives Foreigners to Join the Islamic State?

ISIS_theridgewoodblog

Hint: It’s not primarily poverty, political grievances, feelings of marginalization or lack of integration. When will world leaders wake up?
BY RYAN MAURO

Tue, August 30, 2016

Almost 15 years after the 9/11 attacks, the West is still debating the cause of such terrorism even as repeated studies and common sense points in one direction:  Islamist ideology based on certain religious interpretations.

Now we can add another study to this heap of evidence, as a new study of foreign fighters has confirmed that ideology is the primary factor.

The new study released by the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society is based on interviews with 40 foreign fighters who went overseas to join Islamist terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria and 100 other relevant players, such as their family members and online supporters.

Of these, 15 joined the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), 12 joined Jabhat al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing), three joined the Free Syria Army and 10 joined other rebel groups, mostly jihadist in nature.

Here are five of the most important findings from the study:

The primary factor is religious interpretation.

“As our interactions with these individuals are so heavily mediated by a religious discourse, we also think that religiosity (i.e., sincere religious commitment, no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox) is a primary motivator for their actions. Religion provides the dominant frame these foreign fighters use to interpret almost every aspect of their lives.”

And:

“There is a real concern with real moral issues, with knowing and doing the right thing—again, not as determined by the seeming apathetic and corrupt surrounding society but by some higher or transcendent authority.”

This is the obvious conclusion that many observers have sought to deny, such as when former State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said ISIS is caused by unemployment and subsequently defended her comments. She was laughed out of her job, but her illogical understanding of the problem remains pervasive as many Westerners desperately seek to find a more comforting and relatable cause than Islamism for Islamist terrorism.

One Western Muslim told the authors, “The zeal of jihad always struck me when I would sit in my room and read Quran with English translation. I would wonder how jihad was fought today.”

The political gripes of the Islamist terrorists are a subset of their religious gripes.

“[Most] provided justifications for being a foreign fighter that were largely moral and religious in character, more than explicitly political.”

The researchers found that the decision to become a foreign fighter was more about rejecting Western governments and societies than a decision to combat Western foreign policy.

The common mantra that Islamist radicalization is simply a religious expression of political protests over Western “imperialism” is false. The primary factor is the adoption of the ideology and those that hold that ideology will become exponentially more infuriated over the West’s foreign policy. If you believe in resurrecting the caliphate, then you’ll rage against the West’s presence in the Middle East that stands in your way.

It’s not about inequality.

“None indicate, directly or indirectly, that forms of socio-economic marginalization played a significant role in their motivations to become a foreign fighter.”

Here we have yet another study finding no connection between Islamist radicalization and unemployment, poverty, lack of education, broken families, mental illness, etc. About half of the foreign fighters in this sample went to university and one-third graduated.

The study identified five “ecological niches of homegrown terrorism:” Late modernity (our Internet-driven society); the immigrant experience (most come from Muslim immigrant families); youthful rebellion; ideology and group dynamics.

The linkage between Islamism and lack of integration is overemphasized.

“The correlation between marginalization or lack of integration and radicalization are not as robust as commonly assumed.”

Previous studies have shown a linkage between a lack of assimilation and Islamist radicalization. For example, Marc Sageman’s pivotal study based on 400 biographies of Al-Qaeda members found that80% “were, in some way, totally excluded from the society they lived in.”

This study doesn’t deny that a correlation exists, but rather that the correlation is played up too much. The authors refer to how some respondents described feeling out of place in the West as they saw how it conflicted with their faith. In these cases, the religious belief is prompting the individual to marginalize himself, as opposed to Western society marginalizing the individual and pushing him towards radical beliefs.

They aren’t lone wolves.

“The process of self-radicalization needs to be legitimated to be complete.”

The researchers found that, in most cases, “outside mentors” enter the Islamist’s life and guide him into becoming a foreign fighter. They are not lone wolves if they are being led, even if it is online.

The West can either craft a strategy for each Islamist terrorist group it goes up against, starting over and over with each new manifestation or it can target the common variable between all of them. This study, like others before it, finds that the common variable is Islamism and its foundational religious interpretations.

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org’s national security analyst, a fellow with Clarion Project and an adjunct professor of homeland security. Mauro is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Read more, contact or arrange a speaking engagement.

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U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners

john-kerry-has-been-pushing-for-air-strikes-in-syria

Exchange was tightly scripted and specifically timed to the prisoner release

By
JAY SOLOMON and

CAROL E. LEE
Updated Aug. 17, 2016 7:37 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.

The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the U.S. owed the money to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.

But the handling of the payment and its connection to the Americans’ release have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-held-cash-until-iran-freed-prisoners-1471469256

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Erdogan tells West ‘mind your own business’ over crackdown criticism

Obama and Erdogan

Agence France-Presse

29 JULY 2016 • 10:43PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the European Union and United States to “mind your own business” after the West expressed alarm over the growing crackdown against suspected accomplices in the failed coup.

“Some people give us advice. They say they are worried. Mind your own business! Look at your own deeds,” Erdogan said at the presidential palace, complaining no senior Western official had visited Turkey in the wake of the coup.

“Not a single person has come to give condolences either from the European Union… or from the West,” said Erdogan.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/29/erdogan-tells-west-mind-your-own-business-over-crackdown-critici/

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Amidst Rising Islamophobia, Thousands of American Muslims Unite for Annual Convention

Koran

American Muslims gather to erase extremism and rejuvenate spirituality

July 17,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, the nation’s largest and oldest Muslim organization, will host the 68th annual 3-day conference to spiritually rejuvenate Muslim Americans, young and old.  As the longest running American Muslim conference, it aims to reach into Islam’s fundamentals as practiced by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to teach how to be a model Muslim in today’s world.

The recent attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and Iraq show that much of the world is in the dark about Islam’s true teachings. Distorted teachings by extremists have promoted fear and Islamophobia worldwide.  In response, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has spearheaded a campaign entitled “True Islam and the Extremists” to educate the masses on Islam’s true teachings. Its aim is to enhance the country’s national security through a proven model that saves people from the path of extremism.

“We are at a critical point in a conflict-ridden world.” said Dr. Nasim Rehmatullah, National Vice President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA. “The world cries for a solution and we are here to offer that solution through dialogue, education, and community.”

The conference will be held at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA from July 29-July 31st.  Thousands of American Muslims from across the country are expected in attendance to participate in the conference, which is also open to the public.

About Ahmadiyya Muslim Community:

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist and fast-growing international movement within Islam. Founded in 1889, the Community spans over 200 nation with membership exceeding tens of million. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, established in 1920, is among the oldest American-Muslim organizations.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Islamic organization to believe that the long- awaited messiah has come in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) of Qadian, India. Ahmad claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. The Community believes that God sent Ahmad, like Jesus, to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival and moderation. He divested Muslims of fanatical beliefs and practices by vigorously championing Islam’s true and essential teachings.

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Photo of Obama in Muslim garb shows deep ties to faith, O’Reilly says

Obama in Muslim garb

Published July 07, 2016
FoxNews.com

President Obama and Islam

Newly unearthed photos of President Obama in Muslim garb underscore his deep ties to the faith — and possibly help explain his reluctance to call out radical Islam, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said Wednesday.

The photos, aired on “The O’Reilly Factor,” were taken at the wedding of Obama’s half-brother, Malik Obama, in Maryland sometime in the early 1990s, O’Reilly said. They were not offered as evidence that Obama is Muslim, as some of his critics insist, but to show his “deep emotional ties” to the religion of his father and stepfather, O’Reilly said.

O’Reilly said the photos, taken in the 1990s, underscore Obama’s deep ties to Islam. (Fox News Channel)

“There is no question the Obama administration’s greatest failure is allowing the Islamic terror group ISIS to run wild, murdering thousands of innocent people all over the world, including many Muslims,” said O’Reilly. “Mr. Obama has never, never acknowledged that mistake, nor does he define the ISIS threat accurately.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/07/photo-obama-in-muslim-garb-shows-deep-ties-to-faith-oreilly-says.html

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Why the ‘lone-wolf’ terrorist is a myth

Rolling_Stone_Cover_with_Boston_Bomber

By Paul Sperry

June 18, 2016 | 3:20pm

President Obama says don’t worry, the Orlando terrorist was just another “lone actor” operating in isolation, unconnected to any larger group of supporters. In fact, these so-called “lone wolves” are running in packs, and suggesting otherwise gives the public a false sense of security.

Yet Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson echoed Obama, saying Omar Mateen was “self-radicalized” without any religious, ideological or operational support from friends, family or others in the Muslim community.

“What we do know at this point is it appears this was a case of self-radicalization,” Johnson said. “He does not appear to have been part of any group.”

A more accurate picture is that Mateen, an Afghan-American, was part of a disturbingly large Muslim family of sympathizers, supporters and even co-conspirators.

For starters, his wife could face criminal charges in the attack on the gay Orlando nightclub, the deadliest act of terrorism in the US since 9/11. Noor Zahi Salman, who wed Mateen in 2011, reportedly told the FBI she knew about her husband’s planned attack and even drove him to the site of the massacre as part of a scouting operation. She also is said to have helped him case the Disney Springs shopping complex. What’s more, Salman allegedly was with Mateen when he bought ammo and a holster used in the attack.

http://nypost.com/2016/06/18/why-the-lone-wolf-terrorist-is-a-myth/

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Muslim Mass Murderer OMAR MATEEN Had Been Investigated by FBI, tied to Islamic Terror Groups

Omar Mateen, Terrorist Who Attacked Orlando Gay Club

By PAMELA GELLER on June 12, 2016

The jihadi who slaughtered at least 50 at a gay nightclub in Florida last night was known to law enforcement. More of their “Muslim outreach,” I’m sure.

“Omar Mateen, Terrorist Who Attacked Orlando Gay Club, Had Been Investigated by FBI,” Daily Beast:
Mateen was a ‘known quantity’ to federal law enforcement before he killed 53 people in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

Mateen came to the attention of federal authorities twice prior to being identified as the gunman in the Orlando nightclub mass shooting, a senior law enforcement source told The Daily Beast.

The source reports that Mateen became a person of interest in 2013 and again in 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation at one point opened an investigation of him, but subsequently closed the case when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.

“He’s a known quantity,” the source said. “He’s been on the radar before.”

The gunman is said by the source to have been born in New York and to have been married for a time to a woman from New Jersey. His father, Seddique Mateen, appears to reside in Florida, but is said to be presently running for office in Afghanistan.

Seddique told NBC News that the sight of two men kissing angered his son.

“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking,” Seddique said. “We are in shock like the whole country.” Seddique added that the attack “has nothing to do with religion.”

His father’s first response is, the massacre “had nothing to do with religion.” The bodies are still warm and the first response of the father of a mass murderer is protect Islam.

And if this has nothing to do with Islam, why is there an imam at the press conference?

– See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2016/06/muslim-mass-murderer-omar-mateen-had-been-investigated-by-fbi-tied-to-islamic-terror-groups.html/#sthash.lx68A5iO.dpuf