( Milo ) The New Jersey town of Bernards will reportedly be paying an Islamic group $3.25 million as part of a lawsuit settlement stemming from the town’s refusal to offer the group a mosque building permit.
According to The Associated Press, the group – in addition to receiving the $3.25 million – will be allowed to build its mosque.
The Associated Press states that the lawsuit originated last year when The Islamic Society of Baskin Ridge claimed Bernards Township changed its zoning laws to discourage the mosque’s construction.
The Justice Department, which announced the settlement today, also sued the town, stating it was being discriminatory by enforcing more stringent rules related to the number of parking spaces the mosque would need than it places on churches and synagogues.
“Through a spokesman, the township committee denied discriminating against the Islamic Society and maintained the denial of the group’s proposal was ‘based on accepted land use criteria only,’” reports The Associated Press, adding that the Islamic group has used other facilities in the town for years with no issue.
According to The Atlantic, it took 39 court hearings for a settlement to be reached.
In addition to the money and permit to build the mosque, leaders of the town will also reportedly undergo training on religious freedom laws.