Judge grants Tenn. mosque's petition to open

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.

News Update

As Ramadan begins, controversial mosque won’t be ready to open doors

The mosque – subject of a two-year battle marked by legal wrangling, vandalism and anti-Muslim sentiment – still needs to pass inspection and get its occupancy permit, mosque officials said.

“It is unfortunate that we cannot be in our building for the start of Ramadan tonight,” Islamic Center of Murfreesboro officials said in a written statement. “However, it does look like we will get to enjoy most of Ramadan in our building, especially the breaking of the fast at the end of Ramadan, on Eid-ul-Fitr.”

The release said it will take about 10 days to complete the next legal steps.


What is wrong with this community that they wouldn’t want a religious gathering place in thier midst- is it simple bigotry?

Even if no one ever used it, I would not want an abortion clinic to open its doors in my community. How much more, then, ought I protest the opening of an organization that does so much worse, not merely by attacking the body, but by introducing errors into the immortal soul?

Well fortunately in our country the first amendment protects people of all religions, even the ones that you consider false. It also protects speech and peaceful assembly. We have our share of problems, but the first amendment isn’t one of them.

We are comparing mosques to abortion clinics now? Classy.

I think you need to reread your history. The United States was founded as a Christian nation. Therefore, those creeds falling outside of common Christian conceptions also fall outside the protections of the First Amendment. That such creeds are permitted at all is subject to the tolerance of the larger, Christian community and are legitimately regulated by secular authority. The First Amendment was never meant to imply that individuals have a “right” to be in error.

So, when a group of Protestants wants to close all Catholic Churches in their area for “introducing errors into the immortal soul” you would support them?

Freedom of religion applies to everyone, not just to those religions you happen to agree with. If you stop someone else because you disagree with their religion, then anyone who disagrees with your religion will be able to stop you.


Ironic in light of the prejudice Catholics faced in US history.

Oh, I don’t know about that. Some things that are allowed to be uttered are completely bigoted and vitriolic. Even some of the things we allow as freedom of expression just make me shake my head.

I suggest you brush up on Originalism. There is a reason why it violates religious freedom to, say, force the Catholic Church to provide contraception but does not violate this same freedom when the Native American Church is prohibited from using peyote in its religious rituals. The distinction is this: one is Christian and involves principes identical with the nation’s founding documents; the other is a non-Christian entity whose existence and praxis is permitted only by the indulgence of the Christian majority of this Christian nation. Therefore, one is justly subject to regulation where the other is not.

Here was me thinking your nation was not founded to support any particular faith.

Perhaps it would be better if you based your judgements on facts rather than platitudes.

Yes, bigotry is exactly what it is. And I’ll be the same people opposing it are the first to scream if they think their own constitutional rights are being violated.

Perhaps you’d like to show us where the First Amendment says that it only applies to Christians.

Especially as many of the Founders where anti-Catholic. Therefore using this Originalist argument Catholicism isn’t covered by Amendment one.

The problem is that the United States was not founded on Christianity.

Here is what the US Government said in 1796/7:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

– Treaty of Tripoli

I think that those alive in 1796/7 had a rather better idea of the events surrounding the founding of the United States than whatever misinformation you have picked up off the internet.

The US Constitution treats all religions equally. If you want the freedom to worship in a Catholic Church, then Muslims also get the freedom to worship in their Mosque. Can you show me any passage in the US Constitution which gives any special privileges to the Christian religion?


I have yet to see you produce any facts whereas others have

No. Christians founded the U.S., but not as a “Christian” nation. Not one founding document mentions Jesus Christ or says that the nation was founded on Him.

Therefore, those creeds falling outside of common Christian conceptions also fall outside the protections of the First Amendment.

Absolutely wrong. The First Amendment gives priority to no religion. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. No favoritism among religions.

That such creeds are permitted at all is subject to the tolerance of the larger, Christian community and are legitimately regulated by secular authority. The First Amendment was never meant to imply that individuals have a “right” to be in error.

Wrong again. No preferential treatment for any religion, and no abridgement of the freedom of speech. You have the right to freely call Islam, Judaism, and Christianity garbage religions if you want.

I’m not American, but I do recall your Constitution saying that Congress shall pass no laws respecting the establishment of a religion, nor shall they prohibit the practice thereof. It seems to me that alone establishes separation of Church and State and protects other religions

I do also recall the American Constitution saying there shall be no religious test for any position in government

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