After a New Jersey town zoning board rejected a plan for a Muslim community center, a Christian pastor and outspoken opponent of the center had his home vandalized.
Joseph Basile, a Bayonne, NJ pastor, reported rocks were thrown through his windows shortly after the center’s plan failed to pass the zoning board at a vote this past Monday night. Basile’s home has been attacked before with bricks thrown at windows, and this past January, paint was thrown at his house.
The zoning board’s vote was held this past Monday at a contentious, heavily attended board meeting after several prior meetings were either cancelled or the board vote was postponed because certain expert witnesses or lawyers were unable to appear. Many members of the community expressed opposition based upon a lack of parking and the anticipated burdens upon local traffic, based upon the proposed site’s location on a dead end street in a heavily developed residential area.
A 4-3 majority of the zoning board approved of the community center’s plan, but approval needed five votes under board rules.
According to one report, the Muslim group behind the center is considering filing a federal civil rights lawsuit.