Muslims in a Tennessee congregation prepared Thursday for the holy month of Ramadan a day after a federal judge ruled they have a right to occupy their newly built mosque, overruling a county judge’s order that was keeping them out.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County on Wednesday and asked U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell for an emergency order to let worshippers into the building before the holy month of Ramadan starts at sundown Thursday.
The future of the mosque had been in question since May, when a local judge overturned the county’s approval of the mosque construction. This month, he ordered the county not to issue an occupancy permit for the 12,000-square-foot building.
The county judge ruling was that the meeting which approved the construction permit was not adequately advertised. The meeting had been given the same notice as every other such meeting, but the judge said that this was an issue of special interest and required more public awareness.
U.S. Attorney Jerry Martin argued that the earlier ruling created a separate “mosque standard,” which applied only to persons who wanted to build a mosque.