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Zoned Out

When Muslims in Bernards Township, N.J., sought to build a mosque, they found themselves subjected to a strange requirement that wasn’t imposed on other houses of worship: They’d have to build a “supersized” parking lot.

Officials in the township insisted that since Muslims gather for prayers on Friday afternoon, everyone who might come to the mosque should have a dedicated parking spot.

N.J. Can’t Subject Mosque To Higher Parking Requirements

A federal judge has ruled that a New Jersey town cannot require a mosque to have more parking spaces on its property than churches and synagogues, marking what activists hope is the end of a four-year legal battle. 

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp’s Dec. 31 ruling gave the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge a win against Ber­nards Township, which, after 39 planning board meetings, rejected a plan by local Muslims to construct a mosque.

Taking A Break From Evangelicals, Trump Stumps At Hindu Event

Beleaguered Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been aggressively wooing conservative evangelical Christians for months, but he recently took some time out to target another religious group: Hindus.

Last week Trump spoke to the crowd at a Hindu charity concert in New Jersey. Politico reported that Trump addressed about 10,000 attendees between acts of the Bollywood-themed show.

Plate Shift

Shannon Morgan was merely trying to personalize her license plate to “8THEIST” when officials in New Jersey rejected it because they deemed it “objectionable."
 
The incident occurred in November 2013, and it took Morgan, a Leesburg, N.J., resident, by surprise. At the time, she thought the rejection was a technical problem, but it wasn’t. New Jersey officials’ reasoning was that an “8THEIST” plate “may carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

N.J. City May Face Vote On Vouchers

Voters in Atlantic City, N.J., will see a non-binding referendum on their ballots next month asking whether the city should establish a school voucher program.

City Councilmen Jesse Kurtz and Aaron Randolph put forth wording for the referendum Aug. 17, and it was approved unanimously by the council. Kurtz claims that vouchers will save the financially strapped city money by encouraging parents to place their students in private schools, but opponents say that’s not likely to happen.

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