Proposed mosque in Temecula, California faces opposition

Heated debate over the nature of Islam is overshadowing plans to build a mosque in northeast Temecula.

Critics, including the pastor of a church next to the mosque site, say the worship center is a bad fit for the area. They’re also concerned with what they describe as Islam’s extreme agenda of expansion.

The Islamic Center of Temecula Valley’s imam, or prayer leader, said his group is peaceful and only seeks more room to serve its members. And the civil rights manager for a Muslim-American advocacy group said the mosque’s critics are ignorant, if not bigoted.

Mosque construction plans have encountered resistance nationwide in recent months. Proposals to build mosques in Tennessee, Wisconsin and near ground zero in New York have all been met with protests.

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This post was last updated: Nov. 21, 2013