BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBS 2) — A mosque controversy is heating up in a New Jersey neighborhood, and many wonder if it’s due to traffic concerns or Muslim fears.

CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne has more on the Islamic community’s fight to build their own house of worship.

A local fire hall in Bridgewater was turned into a makeshift mosque, but the local Muslim community wants a house of their own – and they want their Al-Falah Center at the property of a vacant banquet hall.

“We are practicing our freedom of religion,” said Omar Mohammedi of the Al-Falah Center.

The Muslim community said a few months ago the township gave them the go-ahead.

“Everything was going normal,” Yasser Abdelkader said. “They said, ‘no problem – our only concern is what color you’re going to paint it.’”

In late January, they held a hearing on the proposed mosque at Bridgewater’s town hall. Hundreds of people showed up – so many, in fact, that they had to cancel the hearing.

Among the nearly 500 people, there were some that were concerned about terrorist groups funding the mosque. Later that night, the township council initiated an ordinance that houses of worship could not be built on back roads – that would include the Al-Falah Center.

The township has since approved the ordinance, and now the center can’t be built.

“Isn’t that targeting? That’s exactly what it is. You’re targeting one institution,” Abdlkater said.

The township and some neighbors, however, disagreed.

“It’s a windy road, and there’s too much traffic, and the parking is horrendous,” one resident said.

“It’s a dangerous area, and now we have too much traffic,” said another.

“I’m 100 percent confident if it was a Catholic church or a Jewish temple proposed at that site, we would have an equal amount of protest,” Mayor Patricia Flannery said.

Those affiliated with the Al-Falah Center, though, aren’t convinced.

“We have our constitution, and we will fight it until the end and do whatever it takes,” Abdlkater said.

The Muslim community fighting for the Al-Falah Center said they’re working with civil rights groups and are exploring all legal options.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (54)
  1. SuziB says:

    Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim? Eric Rudolph is a Muslim? Bill Ayers is a Muslim? Scott Roeder is a Muslim? The list goes on and on and on.

  2. Sundary says:

    Dear Rose….or should I call you IGNORAMUS Rose, much better fit. Go learn about the real teachings of Islam before you make such an idiotic statement. May God guide you to think properly.

  3. Bridgewater mom says:

    CBS — please check your facts — the debate here is not about religion, but location! I live in Bridgewater, and I’ve attended all town meetings. Despite your erroneous reporting, not one Bridgewater resident expressed “fears of terrorist funding” at the Jan. meeting, or any meeting since (maybe you should read the transcripts??) The only resident objections to this project have been based on location, and ANY proposed high intensity use would face the same valid objections. Several major highways intersect Bridgewater, but this property is miles from all of them on winding, steep, narrow, neighborhood roads — the roads cannot safely handle the traffic volume a house of worship will generate. The shuttered catering hall there now was grandfathered because it was built in the 1930’s, decades before the houses that surround it. It’s been closed for years and rarely used for years before that. There are more than a dozen commercial properties available in this town on major roads — why not pursue those?

    1. Rodin says:

      The debate is always about “location.”

      Smoke and mirrors, your endless town meetings, as Christopher Knight, an art critic for The Los Angeles Times, aptly called such sessions in an unrelated matter an “exercise in misdirection, generalized obfuscation.”

      1. Bridgewater mom says:

        Rodin — This may come as a shock to you, but this REALLY IS about location! Instead of quoting an art critic who has nothing to do with this situation, why don’t you google map this property and see for yourself why it’s an unacceptable choice? This site is not appropriate for a mosque, church, temple, Home Depot, ballpark or any high intensity use. Al -Falah would be better served spending their time and energy finding a commercial property with adequate roads to allow for safe site access.

      2. Rodin says:

        I WOULD be shocked (well, surprised, anyway) and remain unconvinced. Location has become the excuse du jour for Mosque opponents no matter where. Your credibility has been seriously tarnished by like events all over the country. It’s just not useful to cry wolf anymore.

        I would be more than pleased if I felt sure you’d refuse a church or temple as well since I believe “houses of worship” have no place anywhere.

        Faith is a private matter and should be practiced privately, not flaunted in everyone else’s face.


      3. Rodin says:

        PS –

        How many Muslims in Bridgewater NJ anyway? Enough to fill a ball park or Home Depot? Apples and Oranges?

    2. American Citizen says:

      Thanks Mom. I wish I can believe you. There have been two types of comments heard at the township meetings. Official ones at the microphone and unofficial at the back rows. If you were there and heard the unofficial comments, you would know you are wrong. The location is not the true reason for protest.
      You may feel or believe different, but I also attended the meeting and it hurt me to hear such comments from the audience sitting around me. They whisper it and speak it loud sometimes, but not offical. Mom, that’s the truth believe it not.

      I was going to be at your side, but attending the meetings revealed the truth by listening to the crowd ignorant, insulting and arrogant comments.

      1. Bridgewater Senior says:

        Did you also hear Syyd Syiddig (sp) last remark where he said, “if the residents in that area are so concerned about traffic, perhaps they should move out!” Is this not an arrogant and bias remark — why not report that? He said it publicly to the panel and audience.

        Also, have you seen the large congregation at the Hoes Lane mosque. Thousands attend that congregation on Fridays

        Of course there will always be some people that are bias, but it is not the thinking of the larger majority who oppose this mosque or any other public facility in this area that would be built. Honestly, that is the truth!. This is a highly residential area with no major road access..

  4. Max says:

    Ummm… I don’t really understand what some of you people have against Muslims. Muslims believe in the exact same God as Christians and Jews, and Allah just means God in Arabic. Muslims even believe in Jesus, although they believe he is a prophet not the son of God. It even says in the Quran that we should READ THE TORAH AND THE BIBLE, because they are also books of God. Also, ONLY 6% OF TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIM, and if you don’t believe me, check it out here:

  5. Rodin says:


    You’re really special. Would you please learn to spell Muslim/Moslem before going around calling others ignorant and illiterate?

    You might also want to read up on the caliphate of al-Andaluz, the center of science and mathematics in the Middle Ages. Ever hear of “arabic” numerals, i.e.: 1, 2, 3,4 5, 6, …? Guess who thought them up.

  6. barry says:

    try to build a church or temple in afghanistan or iran..let me know how that works out…this has NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR CONSTITUTION…

    freedom is ours, and they are using it to grow and become just like the muslim population in france…research it…realize that the goal is to introduce sharia law wherever and whenever possible..

    separate courts
    separate banks

    wake up, smell the coffee and take the bleeding heart liberalism out with the trash( that would include the head apologist himself…the annointed one)

    1. Carvell says:

      Indeed, building a church or temple in Afghanistan or Iran would fall outside the bailiwick of our Constitution, Barry. And, if I may say, its touching to note your concern about France. I’ll take that as my cue to stop calling my breakfast Freedom Toast. Have to run now, I smell the coffee brewing: hints of false syllogisms, henny-pennyism and hysteria with a whiff of slightly burnt, antique paleoconservative tribalism. Damn, I told my wife not to buy French Roast.

      1. simon goldfarb says:

        Carvell is reading the Quran and popping LSD at the same time

    2. Kathy says:

      Absolutely wrong and misleading comment.
      First, do you compare America with Afghanistan in cultural and economical development. Are you like them??? No, we are developed nation and we should behave as developed nation.
      Second, Afghanistan does not have christians living there, alright.

      Stop misleading audience using arrogant comments.

      1. Rodin says:

        WRONG. .02% of Afghans are Christians, about 6,000.

        “Stop misleading audience using arrogant comments.”


  7. Rodin says:

    It’s too close to Ground Zero.


  8. josh says:

    all muslims arent terrorists but every terrorist is a muslim…

    1. Kathy says:

      you included

  9. labf99 says:

    Muslim lovers. Someday you’ll regret it. The writing is on the wall but still fail to read it. Its written in your forehead.

    1. Carvell says:

      labf99, you offer a curious prophecy – I welcome some elaboration. Please use complete sentences as I am partial to this English language of ours and it saddens me to see it so abused. May I also request that you describe with some clarity what exactly makes one a “muslim lover.” Take your time.

    2. Khader says:

      Yes, all those who are spreading lying about Islam will surely regret. Malicious lies and defamation about Islam have been uncovered by civilized people. They clearly understand Islam is victim of false charges and terror is just a reaction of few intolerant groups against that yet it does not have Islam’s approval.

      Fact of the matter, thousands of learned Christians around the world are now accepting Islam not under any coercion but because of conviction of its purity.

      Possibly that is causing more distressed to vested interests. If this is what you are warning people about then the truth is like sunlight, you cannot hide it.

      1. Joe H says:

        There’s no such thing as “learned Christians,” or “learned Muslims” for that matter.

  10. Dano says:

    American Muslims aren’t the problem it’s the extremist and radicals but unlike in most community’s where a person would would report someone if they thought they were going to commit a crime or a terrorist act in the Muslim community they do not because of indifference or fear that there religious leaders will label them traitors. Part of becoming American Is trying to fit in and add to America not keep yourself separated and cult like This is something that Muslim community needs to regonize.

  11. J says:

    Muslims are cool, like Christians-except for the fanatical ones. It’s like anything else!

  12. adam says:

    All Great Religions are against Killing of Valuable lifes , destruction of property. And All religions are exemplery for others to follow. I Dont think a terrorists group would want to Champion to belief in the existence of God – All Man would be held accountable for all the Evil Deeds committed in the Court of God. Terrorists who kill LIVES dont Belief in Religions at athat time and They GO to Hell. God will not pardon them and there is no Salvation for them. So it is not funded by a terorists group – SURELY

  13. kesu says:


    ‘What is there to be worried if the activities of the Muslims are fully transparent.’ – Anver

    Then why doesn`t the moslem Obama legalise Al Qaeda. They are fully transparent – even more than taqiya Obama.

    1. KingOne says:

      You’re a racist moron.

  14. kesu says:

    ‘What is there to be worried if the activities of the Muslims are fully transparent.’ – Anver

    Then why doesn`t the moslem Obama afraid os Al Qaeda. They are fully transparent – even more than taqiya Obama.

  15. Rustom says:

    I can’t understand why they allowed the mosque can build anywhere in the world even in the heart of catholic premises. If they can build a prayer house or mosque in the catholic area WHY we catholic or christian people cannot build our own prayer church in the muslim land or arabian counties so everybody can practice their own beliefs. I hope the muslim people will allow the catholic people to build the catholic church in their own backyard. Thank you..

    1. KingOne says:

      Those are muslim countries that’s why. America is not a Christian country. America has no religion you idiot.

    2. Khader says:

      For your kind information, Yes, Churches are there in most of the Arabian and Islamic countries. Sadly the lack of knowledge or reliance on biased information hampers the judgment of many in the Western World.

      More ever, so many Churches here are crying for attendance.

      1. Joe H says:

        The empty churches just goes to show how much Europeans are much more civilized and intelligent than lower IQ Arabs that are still stuck in the 9th century and rapidly regressing toward the 6th.

  16. simon goldfarb says:

    What controversy. Did you ever hear of a synagogue or Presbyterian church in Saudi Arabia? Try bringing a bible into that country. Islam must die in order for the rest of us to surviver. Point blank.

    1. Carvell says:

      Mr. Goldfarb, when you have a moment of relief from your fevered fantasies about building churches and synagogues, please take time to wonder whether you’d like to reinvent our society completely in the image of the intolerance, bigotry and medieval violence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After you recover your clarity, spare a few hours to carefully read the text of the Constitution of the United States of America. If you still haven’t found your way to a reasoned understanding of the fundamental tenets which buffet our nation from institutionalized religious and social delusion, kindly keep your childish and malformed philosophy to yourself.

      1. Barts says:

        Wow! .Carvell. Such nasty intellectual arrogance you display here. I did not get the sense that Mr. Goldfarb was suggesting he’d like to reinvent our society after that of Saudi Arabia. He was simply stating that the Saudi government will not permit anything other than Islam in their country. Since Islam asserts itself (sharia law) as the government in every Muslim majority country, his point about our survival is well taken. Perhaps you should revisit our Constitution which only prohibits Congress from establishing an official religion. There is nothing in it providing a buffer against what you refer to as institutionalized religious and social delusion. Perhaps you are too impressed with your own verbosity and pomposity to find your way to clarity about what is actually in the Constitution.

      2. Rodin says:

        Isn’t all religion, institutionalized or not, delusional?

        We lieve in a country where a 3-year-old child, son of a pastor, hallucinates under drugs and anesthetics about visiting heaven and meeting a blue eyed Jesus, the father writes a book about the experience with a coauthor of Sarah Palin’s and the New York Times places it on its NONFICTION list where it becomes a best seller.

        When I was 6 I underwent a hernia operation and hallucinated about rabbits. No one wrote about my miraculous encounter with the Easter Bunny. What if it had been the Great Pumpkin?

        “Institutionalized religious and social delusion” is what we’ve got, in or out of the Constitution. Muslims…, pfft!

    2. Khader says:

      Perhaps those country does not want people to bring multiple versions of bible and as they knew most of the Christian never read it their life time. More ever, how many Christian goes to church except senior citizens for social gatherings.

      When you do not go to Churches here, why do you want to build a Church in Saudi Arabia…..

      Islam has born to kill the ignorance, educate and show the correct path to people like you. I bet if you read about Islam with open heart, you would have much different opinion and defending it more strongly than me.

      1. Rodin says:

        Sweetheart, you need to stop preaching, go to school, and learn to write and spell properly.

        If “Islam has born to kill the ignorance, educate and show the correct path to people”, it must’ve passed you over.

        Madrassas don’t teach, they brainwash, just like parochial schools and yeshivas.

      2. Max says:

        Rodin- Let me ask you something. Why do you hate muslims so much?

      3. Rodin says:

        Looks like you didn’t read my whole posting.

        I have nothing against Muslims in particular. RELIGION I find perverse, intrusive, divisive, bigoted, degrading and controlling.

        Does that answer your question?

        “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.” – FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

        Good without gods!

      4. Max says:

        Alright, then how do YOU think the world came into existence?
        Religion encourages people to live fulfilling, compassionate lives and guides us morally and ethically. There would be a far greater crime rate today if religion had not come into existence.

      5. Max says:

        and sorry I did read your posting I just got your name mixed up with someone elses

      6. Rodin says:

        You live a fairy tale if you really believe that “religion encourages people to live fulfilling, compassionate lives and guides us morally and ethically.”

        I repeat, perverse, intrusive, divisive, bigoted, degrading and controlling. Just look around you or pick up any newspaper and see the madness and mayhem in the name of whatever god.

        There are others better qualified to answer your “how” question. Actually, it doesn’t even matter to me. But I sure don’t believe it was by some hocus-pocus creator. And if it was, it sure messed up with humankind.

  17. wakenabeb39 says:

    Dont give it a damm,they are liars,hell with muslim.

    1. Khader says:

      You do not know about your own religion, so what anybody can expect from ignorant like you……I bet you might have never even seen Bible in your life time.

  18. Anver says:

    What is there to be worried if the activities of the Muslims are fully transparent. Petty political idiots create problems for the Muslims who are truly peaceful making some of them turn to violence.

  19. Trishe says:

    I really don’t care. However, can someone please check where this group is getting money to fund all these mosques that are being build. It just seems odd that all of a sudden they are popping up everywhere.

    1. Marcus Wright says:

      It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that they’re just getting more news coverage than before because people will read about it and the news companies will make money off of the advertising for each individual who reads the article.

      They certainly couldn’t have been “popping up” before this controversy ever came to light, either. I’m sure that, before any 9/11 controversies, you’d have been interested in reading about a mosque being built in some backwater town.

      What reason would you have to want to read about anything like that if nobody else was talking about it?

      1. KingOne says:

        Trishe, they’re not popping up everywhere. There have always been mosques in the US dating back to the 60s and previously. Its new to you because you’re an ignorant swine. 🙂 You probably weigh over 400 pounds, am I right or what?

    2. Khader says:

      Yes, there is lot of interest in building mosques as lot of Christian are increasing coming to Islamic hold. To accommodate our new brothers, we need more mosques. Trishe, I welcome you to read truth about Islam with open heart you will surely contribute to this popping up.

      1. Rose says:

        Khader, You follow the ravings of an ignorant, illiterate, murdering, raping, thieving, pedophile. You are a base people with no hope of redemption. America and the rest of th world is waking up to your dealth cult. Please stfu and get the hell out of my country.

      2. Rodin says:


        “You follow the ravings of an ignorant, illiterate, murdering, raping, thieving, pedophile” You talking about the Catholic church?

    3. Abdul says:

      Yes, there is lot of interest in building mosques as lot of Christian are increasing coming to Islamic hold. To accommodate our new brothers, we need more mosques. Trishe, I welcome you to read truth about Islam with open heart you will surely contribute to this popping up.

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