Prayer or Public 'Nuisance'?

June 13, 2007

Author: Paul Brubaker

Source: The Herald

GARFIELD – A resident who sued a local mosque after it tested a loudspeaker system for its Arabic call to prayer said his lawsuit was made moot when the City Council allowed such broadcasts under its noise ordinance. But he may go back to court if he hears the amplified chants again.

"They have not disturbed my peace yet," said Joseph Dorman, a retired UPS worker who lives a block away from the Albanian-American Islamic Center on Monroe Street.

Dorman's suit, filed on March 30 in state Superior Court in Hackensack, argued that the mosque's intent to use loudspeakers to call its congregants to prayer on Muslim high holy days would violate a city ordinance that prohibited amplification audible beyond a property line. It also said that city government's lack of enforcement of the noise ordinance gave the mosque an implicit exemption, which was unconstitutional.