A New Jersey township is seeking to dismiss a federal lawsuit accusing it of creating bogus barriers for years before ultimately rejecting a group's plan to build a mosque.

The Islamic Society of Basking Ridge filed the complaint last month, seeking permission to build the mosque. Its application to build the mosque was denied in December after four years and 39 public hearings. Its lawsuit alleges a delayed and drawn-out process during which town residents made references to terrorism and questioned what children would learn in the mosque.

NJ.com reported (http://bit.ly/1MWmtcI ) on Thursday that Bernards Township officials responded to the lawsuit for the first time in a court filing that says the public hearings were motivated by issues including storm water management, lighting and fire safety.

Islamic Society attorney Adeel Mangi has declined to comment.

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Information from: NJ Advance Media.