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Friday, March 4, 2011 - 12:35pm

Civil Rights Officials Investigate Mosque

Authorities say issues surrounding a proposed mosque in Gwinnett County are now the focus of a federal civil rights investigation.

The U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division told WSB-TV in a statement that it has an ongoing investigation but declined further comment.

A lawyer for the Islamic center hoping to build the mosque also confirmed the investigation.

Attorney Doug Dillard said federal officials have interviewed several people, including Lilburn city officials.

The mosque has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, saying it discriminated against the congregation in denying its request to expand.

Congregation leaders want to buy more land and build the mosque, a cemetery and gymnasium to accommodate the area's growing Muslim community.

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