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Ground Zero Mosque Founders Blast Firefighters' Lawsuit as 'Blind Bigotry'

By Patrick Hedlund on October 11, 2010 1:17pm 

An artist's impression of the futuristic mosque and religious center planned for near Ground Zero.
An artist's impression of the futuristic mosque and religious center planned for near Ground Zero.
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Park51/Soma Architects

MANHATTAN — Developers of the proposed mosque and religious center planned near Ground Zero are seeking to have a $350 million lawsuit filed against them by a volunteer firefighter dismissed on grounds that it represents "blind bigotry," the New York Post reported.

Former volunteer firefighter Vincent Forras sued the founders of the Park51 project, claiming plans for the Islamic center amounted to "psychological terrorism" that caused him emotional distress, the paper said.

In response to the suit, which is aimed at mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the founders filed a countersuit blasting Forras's attempt as "blind bigotry" and asking that the suit be tossed on grounds that it's a publicity stunt, the Post reported.

In his suit, Forras called the religious center a "monument to jihadists" and a "desecration," adding that the Park51 founders represent "interests tied to terrorism," the paper stated.

The developers' attorney is attempting to have the lawsuit thrown out based the constitutional right to freedom of speech, the Post added.

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