A New Jersey township that stopped an Islamic society from building a mosque will pay the group $3.25 million, ending a multi-year battle that spanned 39 public hearings and included allegations of anti-Muslim animus.
According to the settlements, Bernards Township will pay $1.5 million in damages to the Islamic society and $1.75 million in attorneys' fees and litigation expenses. The law firm representing the society said it will donate its payment to charity.
The society will also be permitted to construct its mosque on the 4.088-acre property it bought in 2011, court papers said.
"Municipalities around the country should pay close attention to what happened in Bernards Township," the society's lead counsel, Adeel A. Mangi, said in a statement. "The American Muslim community has the legal resources, the allies, and the determination to stand up for its constitutional rights in court and will do so."