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Man's lawsuit fighting mosque is dismissed
Published February 28, 2008
MIAMI - A lawsuit fighting construction of a mosque in a suburban neighborhood has been dismissed, though its backers vow to return to court.
The lawsuit was filed last year by lawyers for Rodney Wright, who claimed the relocation of the Islamic Center of South Florida to a new building in his Pompano Beach neighborhood threatened the well-being and safety of the community.
The complaint was dismissed Monday, a move applauded by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which fought the litigation.
"These people were not really interested in doing something for the community. They were trying to further a political agenda of trying to restrict Muslims from worship in America," said Ahmed Bedier of CAIR. "And that's un-American."
Wright's lawyer Peter Feaman said he planned to further investigate the case before returning to court. The case has been backed by others who have been highly critical of major Muslim groups.
Wright, who identifies himself as a Christian, made broad claims in the lawsuit, saying the leader of the mosque, Imam Hassan Sabri, has repeatedly been associated with others who are tied to terrorist groups including Hamas, al-Qaida and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The connections to such groups appeared loose. Sabri has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.
The Islamic Center of South Florida has been in Pompano Beach, about 30 miles north of Miami, for more than 20 years.