Opponents vow to continue legal challenge to Tennessee mosque a year after it opened
Opponents of a Tennessee mosque are planning an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after their state’s highest court declined to hear their case.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro opened more than a year ago, but opponents are still arguing that the Rutherford County Planning Commission failed to provide adequate notice for a 2010 meeting where commissioners approved the mosque.
The mosque’s members cheered the decision Friday by the Tennessee Supreme Court, which refused to take up the case, saying they always believed that justice would be served.
Although their court filings cite concerns about Shariah law and alleged terrorist ties, the plaintiffs continue to insist their opposition is based on land use, not religion.
But the city’s Muslims say no opposition was raised when a large Baptist church was built nearby.
The plaintiffs’ attorney said opponents are appealing because a federal court should never have gotten involved and allowed the mosque to open after a local judge sided with the plaintiffs.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals overturned that Chancery Court ruling earlier this year.
Tennessee has become a hotbed of anti-Muslim paranoia, with self-described terrorism expert and disgraced FBI agent John Guandolo recently calling the state “one of the most dangerous” in the U.S. for the potential for terrorism and Sharia law.
Lawmakers in Tennessee, where Muslims make up about 1 percent of the population, have recently complained about a mop bucket they believed might be used for Muslim foot washing and claimed Islam may not a religion, in addition to their efforts to ban the mosque and introducing legislation to bar Sharia law.