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Local mosque expands

Assemblyman Jack McEneny, D-Albany, who will be in attendance at the formal ceremony for the opening of the community center on Sept. 25, said the mosque's expansion is a positive thing.

"It's a big deal," he said. "It's a community that's going through the journey so many groups have gone through when coming to America."

McEneny spoke against the actions of Jones and other extremists who pigeonhole Muslims into the same category as the terrorists who piloted the planes during the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and said the act of burning Qurans would only hurt the United States.

"It is a propaganda tool that is being handed to Al-Qaida," he said. "The pastor will have blood on his hands."

The community center will have a formal grand opening in what is being referred to as an interfaith ceremony, where Niazi said he hopes to see Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, of the Albany Diocese, in attendance.

Niazi said he is very thankful to be in the Capital District, an area that has been very welcoming and friendly.

"Our community, when I say our community I mean the Capital District community, has been very inviting," he said. "Our neighbors have been wonderful, and we've never had an incident, and I hope that it will continue like this."

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