Bayonne residents against the proposed Muslim Community Center met at a location near Avenue F and East 24th Street to discuss issues they have with the place of worship potentially coming to their community.
Those who support the proposed project have called these residents’ stance against a Muslim center “racist” and “bigoted.” 2nd Ward Councilman Sal Gullace also attended the meeting to hear resident’s concerns.
The meeting turned into a heated discussion quickly and was put on hold as Hudson County View was asked to leave the room.
Many residents felt there had been no stance from Gullace on the issue and when concerns were voiced, there was no follow-up action.
Some Bayonne residents wanted us to hear their stories and clear their names, stating this issue had nothing to do with religion.
One Bayonne resident, who wished to remain anonymous stated that she has “stressed spatial issues as to her opposition on the mosque.”
She showed off the space between her fence and the back wall to the site of the potential Muslim Community Center, indicating it would have a clear impact on her home.
The structure would rests roughly eight inches from her backyard and she is “concerned of the noise traffic that will be coming through the neighborhood during prayer hours.”
Bayonne resident, Joseph Wisniewski, also gave his opinion on the matter.
“A lot of people have called us racists and bigots and that’s not what it’s all about. This is a quiet residential neighborhood and we want to keep it that way but the media has stretched it out,” he explained.
“I think people would be a little more receptive if it didn’t disrupt the entire community, maybe if it was in an isolated area where they had their own parking, they had ample parking and it wouldn’t interfere with the quality of life.”
“Backyards face that, it’s going to ruin the entire neighborhood, it’s almost like they’re going to force people out of the community and we want to stay here.
After a tense zoning board of adjustment meeting in January, the board postponed their vote until after a second meeting. However, that meeting is yet to come to fruition after being delayed three times already.