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N.Y. Muslim center responds to 'hate' suit

Oct. 11, 2010 at 10:11 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- A World Trade Center responder's suit against a proposed Manhattan Muslim center is motivated by hate, a countersuit charges.

Vincent Forras, a former volunteer firefighter from Westchester County, N.Y., has sued Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Park51 -- the complex that includes the proposed mosque near Ground Zero -– for $350 million, asserting that they are fronts for "interests tied to terrorism," The New York Post reported Monday.

Forras said he should be compensated for the "psychological terrorism" and emotional distress he suffered when he learned of the Park51 plans.

He says the Islamic center would be a "monument to the jihadists' victory over American ideals of freedom and democracy, (and) a desecration of the terrible sacrifice made by those innocents attacked."

In the countersuit, Rauf and Park51 want Forras' claim dismissed as a stunt motivated by "blind bigotry." They are also seeking $50,000 in damages and lawyers' fees.

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