Regional
1:14 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Tennessee Mosque Construction Can Continue Despite Protest

Opponents of a mosque being built in Tennessee got the government decision that approved it overturned Friday, but they lost their bid to stop construction immediately. Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew states in a written order released in the Nashville suburb of Murfreesboro that the approval is void because it was taken in violation of the Tennessee’s Open Meetings Act. He ruled earlier this week that the county didn’t give the public adequate notice of what has become a contentious issue.

The order prohibits further meetings on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro without proper notice.

But the decision also says that if the mosque opponents want to halt construction, they must begin a new court action.

The construction has been ongoing during the year-and-a-half the court case has dragged on.

The lawyer for the mosque opponents was in court when the order was released and couldn’t immediately provide comment.

Islamic Center board chairman Essam Fathy said he was relieved by the order.

“This news sounds good because we can take our breath with it,” he said.

The mosque was one of several Muslim projects in the U.S. that hit a swell of conservative Christian opposition in 2010 as outrage flared over a plan to build a Muslim community center near New York’s ground zero.