A Florida man filed a lawsuit to prevent construction of a mosque in his neighborhood, claiming it “presents a substantial harm to the well-being, safety and health” of his community.
Rodney Wright named in his complaint the Islamic Center of South Florida, the South Florida office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and its national office.
He is represented by Larry Klayman, known for this numerous lawsuits against the Clinton administration in the 1990s as head of the government watchdog Judicial Watch.
Klayman, now an attorney in south Florida, is acting in response to the Pompano Beach City Council’s “dangerous decision” to grant permission for the building of a 29,000- square-foot “radical suspect mosque” in an area “almost entirely Christian and African-American,” according to an outspoken critic of the move, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of a church in the neighborhood, World Wide Christian Center.
The lawsuit, according to Dozier, “provides a roadmap for other concerned citizens around the nation to legally prevent radical Islam from posing a security threat in their local communities.”
The Islamic center’s imam, Hassan Sabri, “has a history of ties to terrorism, and anti-Semitic statements,” said the pastor’s statement.
“The plaintiff and many others in the community believe that the mosque will be a nuisance and will pose a threat to the neighborhood and its surrounding areas,” the statement said. “As well, the plaintiff believes that this is part of a greater scheme to radicalize America.”
The lawsuit says associates of Sabri are tied to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The mosque also is near the church Wright attends, Antioch Missionary Baptist.
CAIR has “acted in concert” with the Islamic center, “working hard to oppose anyone that gets in the way of the mosque’s creation,” Dozier’s statement said.
Altaf Ali, executive director of the South Florida chapter of CAIR, said he views the lawsuit as “an act of religious intimidation,” the Associated Press reported.
“I’m very much disturbed that in this day and age you’d find people going to such extreme measures to prevent a house of worship from being built in any American city,” he said.
CAIR brands itself as a mainstream advocacy group, but it is a spinoff of the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and a former university professor in Florida, Sami al-Arian, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Several CAIR staffers have been convicted on terrorism-related charges, and CAIR founder Omar Ahmad allegedly told a group of Muslims they are in America not to assimilate but to help assert Islam’s rule over the country.