Excerpt:

Plans to build a permanent mosque near two existing Temecula churches are expected to be the target of an organized protest next week.

The development plan that the Islamic Center of Temecula submitted to city planners about 1½ years ago has drawn muted concerns so far and triggered widespread media coverage that has included stories by the Associated Press and newspapers based in Los Angeles and Riverside.

If an announced July 30 protest materializes, it could mark an escalation of questions and criticism surrounding plans to develop a mosque at the city's northeast corner. The facility that has served the region's Muslims for about 12 years would move from an industrial park to Nicolas Road if the development plan comes to fruition.

City officials could be snared in a religion-tinged controversy as the project proceeds through the review process. It has been about seven years since a similar controversy began to unfold in the city that is now home to more than 100,000 residents.


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