(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/27/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced today that a “frivolous” lawsuit that sought to block the construction of a Florida mosque has been dismissed.
CAIR said the voluntarily-dismissed lawsuit was a failed attempt to harass and intimidate the Islamic Center of South Florida and the entire Florida Muslim community. The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said that any lawsuit seeking to misuse the courts to suppress constitutional rights is destined to fail.
SEE: Lawsuit to Block Construction of Mosque is Dismissed (AP)
The lawsuit, filed last year, claimed the new mosque would constitute a public nuisance and falsely linked mosque officials, CAIR and CAIR-Florida to terrorism. CAIR and the mosque offered a strong legal challenge to the suit.
“This frivolous lawsuit was clearly designed to prevent Florida Muslims from exercising their First Amendment right to worship freely,” said Altaf Ali, executive director of CAIR’s South Florida office. “It was based on bigotry and used guilt by association to smear CAIR and ordinary Muslims.”
“The plaintiff’s defeat in this case demonstrates that defamation and Islamophobic smears will not succeed in American courts,” said CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili. “The rule of law, not hatred and intolerance, prevailed.”
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-South Florida Executive Director Altaf Ali, 954-298-8214, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Strategic Communications Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org