PATERSON, NJ – An ordinance aimed at aligning Paterson’s noise ordinance with regulations promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) was advance for a second reading by a 7-0 vote of the City Council Tuesday. Third Ward Councilman Bill McKoy and Fifth Ward Councilman Luis Velez abstained.
As previously reported in TAPinto Paterson, the ordinance, sponsored by Second Ward Councilman Shahin Khalique, seeks to clarify that religious organizations across the city can amplify calls to prayer or other religious gatherings within already prescribed limits.
Offering passionate support for the measure during the more than 60 minute discussion among the members of the legislative body was Sixth Ward Councilman Al Abdelaziz who lamented that public dialogue on the matter has “taken a nasty turn,” in the days since it was first introduced on February 18.
“We rave about being a city of diversity,” Abdelaziz said, “I have seen people’s true colors this week.”
Questioning the motives of those he believes are portraying the ordinance as a “take over by the Muslim community,” Abdelaziz gave a reminder that it is a “call to prayer for all religions.”
Seeking to allay concerns about any public disturbance the notifications might create, Abdelaziz brandished his reputation for calling out noise violations and vowed that he’d be the first to “call out a church or mosque that is violating the law.”
“We are a city of inclusion, a city of diversity, we welcome everyone,” he concluded before offering is vote in support of the ordinance.
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00 p.m.
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