07-19-12, 11:09 PM #1
More Murfreesboro Madness: Judge tells Rutherford County to stop stonewalling Muslims
More Murfreesoboro Madness
Let's just throw it over to Tara Culp-Ressler:
Just in time for the holy month of Ramadan, a federal judge has ruled that Tennessee county officials need to stop blocking worshipers from occupying their newly-built mosque, overruling a county judge’s order that was preventing the mosque from opening.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County, TN yesterday, asking the district judge for an emergency order to allow the mosque to open its doors to worshipers before Ramadan begins at sundown today. Federal prosecutors also filed a similar lawsuit in Nashville, alleging violations of the federal law that guarantees freedom of religion and equal protection under the Constitution.
Some might recall the notion of the Murfreesboro mosque. Approximately coinciding with the "Ground Zero Mosque" controversy, the Murfreesboro construction site was vandalized. A nearby Christian church offered the use of its facilities on Fridays to the Muslim congregation.
Tenneseeans are, apparently, dead-set against having any Muslims in their communities.
We should note that while Culp-Ressler notes, "a local judge picked the fight up again this May and ruled that the mosque’s building permits were invalid because the congregation had not provided 'adequate public notice' of the construction", the Associated Press reported at the time, "The judge, Chancellor Robert Corlew, said the Rutherford County Planning Commission did not adequately inform the public of the May 2010 meeting when it approved the plan for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro". At issue, apparently, was the number of public notices included in newspapers distributed for general sale in unincorporated areas around Murfreesboro.
The plaintiff in the complaint against the mosque, who argued that Islam is not a real religion, said at the time that, "Justice is served."
Unfortunately for Mr. Fisher, federal law disagrees.
The resistance to the Murfreesboro mosque is not the only recent example of Islamophobia in the state of Tennessee. Tennessee Republicans are currently circulating a petition condemning their governor for hiring Muslim employees, and the Rutherford County sheriff’s office brought in an anti-Muslim speaker to train police officers about Muslim culture earlier this year.
No, really. The next time the South wants to secede, can we please just let them? Because they really don't want to be Americans. It's time to let them go.
Culp-Ressler, Tara. "Federal Judge Orders Tennessee To Stop Blocking Muslims From Worshiping In New Mosque". ThinkProgress. July 19, 2012. ThinkProgress.com. July 19, 2012. http://thinkprogress.org/justice/201...in-new-mosque/
Associated Press. "Tennessee: Judge Rescinds Approval of New Mosque". The New York Times. May 29, 2012. NYTimes.com. July 19, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/30/us...ew-mosque.html
08-02-12, 09:10 PM #2
08-11-12, 02:40 PM #3
Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Opens
Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Opens
"God, thank you for the ability to worship here today. Thank you, thank you." —Remziya Suleyman
Robbie Brown and Christine Hauser report, for The New York Times:
After years of threats, attacks and court action, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's new mosque opened its doors Friday, allowing 300 people to mark the occasion on Islam's day of weekly public prayer. After the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday and an arson attack on a mosque in Missouri on Monday, the opening went off without the protests or violence that some had feared ....
.... For two years, the opposition in this city of 110,000 about 30 miles southeast of Nashville has been small but vocal. In 2010, vandals painted "not welcome" on construction signs at the mosque and set fire to construction equipment. A Texas man was indicted in June on charges that he left messages threatening to detonate a bomb at the center on Sept. 11.
In May, a county judge ruled that the construction plans had not received sufficient comment from the public and that an occupancy permit could not be granted. Federal prosecutors filed a discrimination lawsuit, and a federal judge ruled in the mosque's favor last month.
Only one opponent of the mosque came to voice his concerns at the opening. Dan J. Qualls, 50, a former auto plant worker, wearing an "I Love Jesus" hat and a Ten Commandments shirt, said he understood that the First Amendment protected the right to worship freely but said he believed Islam represented violence. When he heard about the mosque's opening on the local TV news, he decided to come out and "represent the Christians."
"My honest opinion is, I wish this wasn't here," he said.
One might be tempted to tell the lamenting Mr. Qualls to take it up with God.
One curious paragraph from the NYT article:
Many in Murfreesboro have embraced the congregation's right to worship freely. "That religious organization has been treated just exactly as we treat any other religious group," said Ernest Burgess, the mayor of Rutherford County. "It has been a difficult struggle through the legal process. But we treated these people fairly, as they deserved."
Without questioning Mr. Burgess' individual perspective, I wonder if every other religious group needs a federal judge to order the county to stop stalling.
Nonetheless, the mosque is open; the faithful pray.
Brown, Robbie and Christine Hauser. "After a Struggle, Mosque Opens in Tennessee". The New York Times. August 10, 2012. NYTimes.com. August 11, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/11/us...tennessee.html
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