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Ground zero and beyond: four mosque battles brew across US

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Gabriella Ayoub walks away after handing a flower to protesters across the street from her temporary mosque – a business warehouse where the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley currently holds its services in Temecula, Calif., July 30.
Mike Blake/Reuters/file
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2. 'No Allah Law Here' – Temecula, Calif.

Protesters with bullhorns have shown up during afternoon prayers at the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley in California.

The Muslim group there hopes to erect a 24,000 square foot mosque and Islamic center on some vacant land it owns.

The protesters were mainly concerned about Islam, carrying such signs as “No Allah Law Here.”

The mosque has also been criticized by Bill Rench, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, which would be the mosque’s neighbor. Mr. Rench has told the Monitor in the past, “We don’t want to do anything that encourages Islam.”

But the imam of the mosque, who has the support of a local interfaith council, has tried to mend fences with Rench, offering to explain Islam. “I would like to have a meeting with the pastor,” Imam Mahmoud Harmoush told the Monitor earlier.

So far, mosque officials say that effort has not been successful.

Officials hope to complete the mosque at the end of next year.

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