Erdogan Predicts ‘War Between the Cross and Crescent’ over Austria Mosque Closures

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty

Breitbart, by Simon Kent, June 10, 2018:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked Austria’s impending closure of mosques and consequent expulsion of Turkish-funded imams, saying the move is anti-Islamic while promising a response.

“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul covered by AFP.

Austria’s populist government made the announcement on Friday morning at a press conference as part of the governing coalition’s campaign against radical Islamic ideology and the influence of countries like Turkey in the Austrian Islamic community, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Media reports that between 40 and 60 imams, including their families, could be expelled in total. The imams all stand accused of receiving funding from abroad. Official investigations have been launched in 11 cases. Two of the imams had already been denied extensions to their residency permits.

Among the mosques facing closure is the Mosque of the Grey Wolves on Antonsplatz, in the working-class Vienna district of Favoriten, where the Gallipoli reenactment took place.

The other six mosques are in Vienna, Upper Austria and Carinthia, in all of which hardline salafist teachings are said to be widespread.

Mr. Erdogan, speaking Saturday, said: “They say they’re going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we will not react if you do such a thing?”

“That means we’re going to have to do something,” he added without elaborating.

Around 360,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.

Relations between Ankara and Vienna have been strained since a failed coup against Erdogan in 2016 which was followed by a wave of arrests. Mr. Erdogan’s speech precedes presidential and legislative elections on June 24 in which he faces stiff opposition.

During last year’s Turkish referendum on expanding the president’s powers, tensions ran high between Vienna and Ankara after Austria said it would not allow campaign-related events.

The new policy comes after a number of scandals involving mosques in Austria, including one in which Islamists were plotting to overthrow the government to replace it with an Islamic caliphate. The ATIB association came under fire last week when a Turkish mosque posted images of young children swearing oaths to the Turkish state.

Austria to close 7 mosques, expel foreign-funded imams in crackdown on political Islam

Mosque in Vienna – Photo Credits: Stefan Rotter / Shutterstock.com

Voice of Europe, June  8, 2018:

Austria’s government said on Friday, that the country plans to shut down 7 mosques and expel up to 60 imams, newspaper Kronen reports. 

Foreign-funded imams and mosques promoting political Islam are main targets of the measures. They will be mostly conducted against mosques and imams controlled by Turkey.

“The circle of people possibly affected by these measures – the pool that we’re talking about – comprises around 60 imams,” Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said.

A research into a mosque controlled by the Turkish-Islamic Cultural Associations (ATIB), showed earlier how young boys played soldiers and re-enacted the World War I battle of Gallipoli. As they died for their country, their “corpses” were then lined up and draped in Turkish flags.

Austria’s Chanchellor, Sebastian Kurz, vowed that “parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation have no place in our country”.

Turkey called Austria’s decision an “racist move” which is anti-Islam. The presidential spokesman of the country, Ibrahim Kalin, said:

“Austria’s decision to close down seven mosques and deport imams with a lame excuse is a reflection of the anti-Islam, racist and discriminatory populist wave in this country.”

Islamic Society with Questionable Background Joins Forces with Justice Department to Intimidate Citizens Opposing Mosque

Thomas More Law Center, April 18, 2017:

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) has learned that the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), which was trying to obtain zoning changes to build a mosque in Bernards Township, NJ, has hidden from public view anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verses on its website, as well as its connection to the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”)— an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in America.  ISNA is claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of “our organizations and . . . our friends.”  According to internal documents seized by the FBI, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is to engage in a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within . . .”—one of the stages of this civilization jihad is the building of mosques and Islamic centers.

Plaintiffs ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued in March 2016, claiming that the denial of zoning changes to permit a mosque violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) of 2000 and reflected community “religious and cultural animus against Muslims.”  Within a week of the ISBR lawsuit, the Justice Department launched its own investigation and filed its own lawsuit.

While a visible link to the quotes below was once contained on the ISBR website, ISBR has now taken the extraordinary step of hiding the links from public view.  Accordingly, the quotes cannot be found through a simple internet search or a view of the public portion of ISBR’s website, they can only be found by access to the direct links here:

“Ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them.”

“Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”

“And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; … .”

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI entered the case solely to protect the constitutional rights of several Bernards Township citizens who exercised their fundamental right to publicly oppose proposed zoning changes.

These private citizens had no authority to deny the zoning application; nor did they have any official role in the Township.  Nevertheless, they were served with burdensome and harassing subpoenas which demanded: all their email addresses and social media accounts; all personal documents including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam; any object inscribed with or containing the words “Preserve Liberty Corner,” or anti-mosque signs, flyers, banners, email messages, or pamphlets, distributed or otherwise existing at any time within the Township.  In addition, Department of Justice (“DOJ”) lawyers began a new front of intimidation by directly contacting these private citizens, asking them to come in for interviews concerning the mosque.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, stated: “Under Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Justice Department, using politically driven DOJ attorneys, weaponized itself against fundamental constitutional principles to intimidate American citizens with whom they disagreed.  Immediately after the San Bernardino terrorist attack and just months before DOJ inserted itself into this case, Ms. Lynch made the infamous statement chilling free speech: ‘…when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric…. when we see that we will take action.’  This is exactly what happened to the citizens of Bernards Township. DOJ attorneys initiated a deep state inquisition, seeking to bring citizens objecting to the mosque in for questioning.”

Click here to read previous TMLC press release on Subpoenas.

Also see:

The purge of a report on radical Islam has put NYC at risk

Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, April 15, 2017:

The NYPD has had a stellar track record of protecting the city from another 9/11, foiling more than 20 planned terrorist attacks since 2001. But some worry the department is losing its terror-fighting edge as it tries to please Muslim grievance groups.

Last year, for instance, it censored an anti-terror handbook to appease offended Muslims, even though it has accurately predicted radicalization patterns in recent “homegrown” terror cases. Rank-and-file NYPD officers, detectives and even intelligence and counterterrorism units are officially barred now from referring to the handbook or the scientific study on which it was based.

Former law-enforcement officials fear its removal as a training tool may be hurting efforts to prevent terrorist activity, such as the vehicle-ramming attacks plaguing European cities.

“The report was extremely accurate on how the radicalization process works and what indicators to look for,” said Patrick Dunleavy, former deputy inspector general of the New York state prisons’ criminal-intelligence division, who also worked with the NYPD’s intelligence division for several years.

Mayor de Blasio agreed in January 2016 to purge the remarkably prescient police training guide “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” to help settle a federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU and Muslim groups who claimed the NYPD’s anti-terror training discriminated against Muslims.

Written 10 years ago, the seminal NYPD report detailing the religious steps homegrown terrorists take toward radicalization is now more relevant than ever, with recent terror suspects closely following those steps. But in 2007, the same year the study was released, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) organized a protest against it, complaining it “casts suspicion on all US Muslims.” Even though federal law enforcement has long-shunned CAIR as a suspected terrorist front organization, “groups like CAIR were insistent on having it removed, and de Blasio caved into them,” Dunleavy said.

Under the city’s unusual settlement agreement, the NYPD as well as New York state agencies were forced to remove its 90-page anti-terror study — described by plaintiffs as “deeply flawed” and “inflammatory” — from databases and no longer rely on it “to open or extend investigations” into terrorist activities. Also, police must now commit to “mitigating the potential impact” of any counterterrorism investigation on the Muslim community.

The deal has had a chilling effect on other city police forces’ ability to use fact-based, trend analysis to develop terrorism cases, experts say. They warn that purging such studies deprives local law enforcement of the ability to understand how ISIS and other jihadists recruit, organize and operate — which is critical to disrupting terrorism plots.

“The FBI has its hands full with over 1,000 open cases on ISIS terrorist suspects already in the US,” former FBI Agent John Guandolo said, “and it needs the help of well-trained eyes and ears on the ground at the local and state level.”

“The bad guys know if police don’t know this stuff at the ground level, they win,” added Guandolo, who trains sheriffs departments across the country to ID local jihadi networks through his consulting firm, Understanding the Threat LLC.

The authors of the report, led by Mitch Silber, former NYPD director of intelligence analysis, examined hundreds of “homegrown” terrorism cases and found that suspects followed the same “radicalization” path. Key indicators include: alienating themselves from their former lives and friends; giving up cigarettes, drinking and partying; wearing traditional Islamic clothing; growing a beard; becoming obsessed with Mideast politics and jihad; and regularly attending a hardline mosque. In other words, the more they immersed themselves in their faith, the more radical they grew.

“You can take all the terrorist cases since that report and compare the information on the subject and the case and see stark similarities to what Mitch laid out,” Dunleavy noted.

The terrorists who carried out recent attacks in Boston; Fort Hood, Texas; Little Rock, Ark.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Bernardino, Fla.; Orlando; Philadelphia and at Ohio State University, among others, followed a similar pattern of radicalization. In each case, the Muslim attacker was influenced through “incubators of extremism” within the Muslim community, including Islamic student associations, schools, bookstores and mosques. Jihadi websites also played a role, but what unifies them all is Islamic doctrine. As the NYPD study found, “The ultimate objective for any attack is always the same — to punish the West, overthrow the democratic order, re-establish the caliphate, and institute Sharia,” or Islamic law.

“The radicalizer is Sharia, not the Internet,” said Philip Haney, a former Homeland Security counterterrorism analyst. Haney says the feds are plagued by their own PC censorship. Bowing to pressure from CAIR and other Muslim groups, Homeland Security and the Justice Department have purged anti-terrorism training materials and fired instructors deemed offensive to Muslims. CAIR-launched protests also helped convince the FBI to recently suspend an Internet program aimed at preventing the radicalization of Muslim youth.

“If we fail to correct this situation, it is inevitable that more attacks will occur,” warned Haney, author of “See Something, Say Nothing.”

The NYPD did not respond to requests for comment.

Paul Sperry, a former Hoover Institution media fellow, is the author of several books on terrorism including the best-seller “Infiltration.”

***

The report is available on Amazon in paperback:

 

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 2, 2017:

  • British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place.
  • British personalities keep opening the door to introducing Islamic sharia law. One of the leading British judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural, which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips, also suggested that the English law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law.
  • British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The academic guidelines, “External speakers in higher education institutions”, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At the Queen Mary University of London, women have had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands, just as in Riyadh or Tehran.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan“, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat”, said Ceri Peach of Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” said Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. “Londonistan” is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel “part of British culture.”

London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values ​​of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural — which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, “External speakers in higher education institutions“, published by Universities UK, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands — as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and “some restraint” in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

UTT Throwback Thursday: The Process of Settlement

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March 30, 2017:

When the Muslim Brotherhood came to the United States in the 1950’s, it did so with a plan.

As was mentioned in UTT’s article on Monday, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood is now openly confirming much of what UTT has been saying for years, but the MB denied until recently.

Recalling their stated objective in the Muslim Brotherhood’s By-Laws to wage jihad to create an Islamic State in America ruled by Sharia law, it should unnerve Americans to know the Muslim Brotherhood built the Islamic network in the United States.

The massive amount of evidence entered into the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), Dallas 2008) reveals the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood built thousands of organizations to further their plan to wage jihad in the United States.

US v HLF Government Exhibit 3-85 is identified by the Department of Justice as a “1991 memorandum authored by U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member Mohamed Akram Adlouni, recognizing ISNA and NAIT as Muslim Brotherhood organizations.”  This is the MB’s “An Explanatory Memorandum” which is the MB’s strategic plan for North America.

In it, Mohamed Akram writes, “The Movement must plan and struggle to obtain ‘the keys’ and the tools of this process in carry(ing) out this grand mission as a ‘Civilization Jihadist’ responsibility which lies on the shoulders of Muslims and – on top of them – the Muslim Brotherhood in this country…The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions…We must say that we are in a country which understands no language other than the language of the organizations, and one which does not respect or give weight to any group without effective, functional and strong organizations.”

After this “recommendation” to the Muslim Brotherhood leadership was published, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood published the “Implementation Manual” in 1992 which enumerates the goals to be achieved, which MB department will be responsible, the timeline, and follow up.  Shortly after the Implementation Manual was published, the MB began creating between 80 and 120 non-profit organizations a year in the United States, and has been doing so ever since.

Today, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood has nearly 800 Muslim Students Associations (MSAs) on every major college and university campus in America (and in some high schools), over 250 Islamic Societies (subsidiaries of ISNA), approximately 80% of the over 3,000 Islamic Centers/Mosques in the U.S. and thousands of businesses, media organizations, legal organizations, medical organizations, trade organizations, and others, all per their own plans.

As military and political leaders from Muslim nations have told U.S. leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood has more control in the United States than anywhere else on the planet.

What will our federal government do about it?

******

To learn more about the MB network in the U.S., get your copy of the DVD “Understanding the Threat to America: The Outlawed Brief,” the book Muslim Mafia about Chris Gaubatz’s undercover experience at Hamas headquarters in Washington, D.C. (doing business as the Council on American Islamic Relations – CAIR), and the book Raising a Jihadi Generation at UTT’s online store.

Also see:

Are Mosque Denials a Sign of Anti-Muslim Bias?

mosquesAmerican Thinker, by Karen Lugo, Feb. 14, 2017:

Recent media coverage of two Virginia mosque permit proceedings repeats charges of local bigotry and bias directed at the Islamic organizations. At the same time, news reports featured the same accusations, this time originating from a New Jersey federal judge’s ruling against Bernards Township zoning officials and residents. In all of these cases, the proceedings involved a mosque application to build in a residential or quasi-residential area.

Yet case studies suggest that other priorities may be compelling the residents and municipal officials in the neighborhoods where complex mosque applications are being filed.

For example, in 2011 the city council in Bloomington, Minnesota readily approved an application for the Al Farooq Youth and Family Center (now known as Dar al Farooq) to purchase and occupy a school facility with gym from a Christian organization. The application described a community center with a place of assembly and a private school and day care. Dar al Farooq submissions and testimony committed to maximum attendance of two hundred participants during the most popular Eid services. Based upon these terms, the council agreed to a conditional use permit with few restrictions other than those that would prevent street parking.

The city council could have taken the real-time description of wide-ranging activities presented on DAF’s own website into account. Contrary to public testimony, attendance was immediately hundreds higher than promised, parking consistently overflowed onto neighborhood streets, and unapproved activities were added including advertised university classes and an administrative office. Five years later, these complaints, and more, persist. Events still run late into the night with hundreds of cars coming and going for services throughout the night during month-long Ramadan observances.

The vital questions in mosque cases are: do community members have valid concerns regarding unique mosque practices, and are they right to expect that these questions will be addressed during the hearing process? As with any religious application to site a facility, it should not be a surprise that residents are anxious to know the levels and intensity of activities coming to their neighborhoods.

When all of societal, familial, and religious life is centered in the mosque complex, there will be a number of daily activities with comings and goings that overlap or occur in rapid succession. The entire month of Ramadan may entail burdensome traffic and heavily attended events. But most conflicts occur over traffic for the peak Friday prayer service that is held during the workday on Fridays. Attendees for this peak weekday service are more likely to arrive solo as they come from work, delivery routes, or taxi services. The fact that this meeting is on a Friday often implicates traffic and congestion concerns related to nearby school schedules. It is reasonable to expect that these traffic and parking plans will need to be considered. Residents are right to want reliable answers and to expect a use permit that protects residential interests as well as religious siting rights.

Delicate balancing is required to avoid discriminatory results and many local land use planners are not prepared to administer the legally complicated proceedings. Some local officials are volunteers and most are part-time. Many are not educated to competently address the complex and technical regulatory issues underlying religious applications. Behind the officials on the dais are municipal attorneys and municipal insurance carriers that caution against risking these difficult and costly lawsuits.

A federal law known as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was designed to aid religious organizations that were not getting a fair shake at city hall. This law, as passed in 2000, makes it very difficult for municipalities to “substantially burden” religious applicants and they may not discriminate between faith groups or favor secular assemblies over religious ones.

As a force multiplier for Muslim applicants, the DOJ has intervened in response to Islamic complaints of even “subtle, hard-to-prove discrimination” at an unprecedented rate over the last eight years.

In keeping with the DOJ’s focus on expanding legal discrimination theory, an Obama-appointed judge who ruled against Bernards Township in the New Jersey case, determined that the religious basis for the core complaint excused the usual requirement to justify his findings with comparative examples that would demonstrate discrimination. This was, as he acknowledged in his written opinion, a departure from controlling appellate precedent. He also concluded that he was not required to prove that officials intended to discriminate.

There is understandable tension between federal religious facility siting protections and the state zoning authority that vests local officials with the responsibility to protect the “quiet, use and enjoyment” rights of residential homeowners. Complying with federal and state law — while still fulfilling the civic duty to protect homeowner interests — requires careful documentation and evenhanded application of ordinances in the permitting process.

Most importantly, the entire process, including the all-important final permit and terms, demands accurate testimony from the applicant. For both of the Virginia proceedings noted above, zoning officials and community members investigated external sources to learn that there were many more activities planned for the mosque site than indicated on the application. All permit allowances and enforcement mechanisms, including potential revocation of the permit, will rely on the level of precision that informs the final agreement.

Whether the religious land use application is Islamic, Christian, or Jewish, municipalities should establish a broad line of informed questions. Officials should tailor ordinances to flexibly adapt to unique applicant usage patterns. For example, in the interest of addressing traffic and parking concerns in an evenhanded way, some localities have implemented a trip count methodology to regulate the numbers of entries to a specified parking lot during the highest traffic residential periods.

Rather than reflexive complaints that diligent inquiries on behalf of neighborhood residents into traffic, sewer, parking, and occupancy loads are a cover for discrimination, Islamic applicants might first focus on the accurate testimony needed for a respectful relationship with zoning officials and concerned residents. Like the fences that make good neighbors in some cases, facts and realistic expectations are essential to a working three-way contract between local government, the neighborhood, and a busy socio-religious complex.

Karen Lugo, constitutional lawyer, and author of Mosques in America: A Guide to Accountable Permit Hearings and Continuing Citizen Oversight.