Muslim Group Sues Over Terrorist Training Allegations

, The Associated Press

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A Muslim group is accusing a Christian organization of defamation for publishing a book that accuses the Muslim collective of holding terrorist training in New York and other states.

The Christian Action Network refuses to back down, challenging Muslims of America Inc. to prove the allegations wrong in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. A scheduled conference in the defamation case is planned for May 17 in The Muslims of America v. Mawyer, 3:13-cv-0169, before Magistrate Judge David Peebles (See Profile) in Binghamton.

The Muslim group has a community in Hancock, near Binghamton, and in six other states as well as in Canada and Trinidad.

In its complaint, the group accuses the Christian Action Network and authors Martin Mawyer and Patti Pierucci of making "malicious, repetitious and continuous" defamatory statements about the group in print and in the media.

Muslims of America contends that the 2012 book Mawyer and Pierucci co-wrote, "Twilight in America: the Untold Story of Terrorist Training Camps Inside America," makes unfounded accusations linking the group to terrorist activities.

The Muslim group is seeking retractions, $18 million in damages and a ban on future publication of the book, saying in its complaint that it has suffered "substantial, incalculable and irreparable harm, contempt, and ridicule to reputation."

It also wants the writers to be prohibited from discussing the book in the media.

Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a Chicopee, Mass., lawyer for Muslims of America, said in an interview that the group's residential communities are peaceful.

"The property upstate has farms; it has gardens; it has buildings for work; it has little stores," she said. "It's a community of families and of individuals who are just trying to get by day to day."

Residents' common denominator is their faith, she said.

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