The mayor of Teaneck is being called on by the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to denounce comments made by a Zoning Board member that came out during a court hearing.

Legal battle over Islamic community center

The township is being sued by the Al Ummah Community Center over the delay in implementing their plan to convert the former Longfellow School on Oakdene Avenue into an Islamic center, according to CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut.

CAIR-NJ accuses the township of putting Al Ummah, which made the purchase in 2018, through "burdensome and costly requirements not asked of other applicants."

Zoning Board member refers to camel

During testimony, the board is discussing various modes of transportation that would pick up students. Zoning Board member Ed Mulligan is heard commenting that they probably use a camel, which CAIR called "a stereotypical reference to Arabs."

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Mulligan is also heard asking if Muslims can be trusted to watch children.

“We call on Teaneck Mayor James Dunleavy to condemn Edward Mulligan’s anti-Muslim remarks and to support his Muslim community in its quest for a community center. Every religious group has the right to establish houses of worship and community centers, and Muslims are no exception to this,"

Maksut also said that delaying the project makes no sense.

Citing situations in Bayonne, Bridgewater, Basking Ridge, Washington Township and Vineland, Maksut said that "civil rights and procedure will win."

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