May 30th, 2012
12:22 PM ET

Tennessee mosque's fate up in the air

The long-running battle between a Tennessee Muslim community and its critics over a new mosque took a dramatic turn with a county judge's ruling that could bring construction to a halt.

"Everyone is really shocked, many people are crying about this," Imam Osama Bahloul, leader of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said early Wednesday.

"We did exactly what other churches in the county did," he said. "We followed the same process that other churches did. Why did this happen? Some people feel like it is discrimination."

The judge, Chancellor Robert Corlew, ruled Tuesday that plans for the new mosque that had previously been approved by a local planning commission were now "void and of no effect."

He said the planning commission violated state law by not providing proper public notice. The ruling throws the date of the mosque's completion, scheduled for July, up in the air.

Rutherford County Attorney Jim Cope said Corlew did not address the issue of whether work on the mosque has to stop right away. He said county planners will discuss options and determine an appropriate course of action.

"I don't have answers at this point," Cope said.

Bahloul said construction will go on until the Islamic Center receives orders to stop.

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Filed under: Anti-Islam • Islam • Religion • Tennessee • U.S.
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    There are apprx 7 million muslim Americans. They have the same rights as any American of another faith.
    There are people who are feeding Islamophobia to serve their own purpose and push us into believing that somehow we are in a war against Islam.
    But we Americans still, thank God for that, harbor the American spirit. There are Christian and Jewish organizations who are standing up to this mind set.
    I remember that shameful day when "Pastor' Jones burned copies of the Muslim holy book Koran and felt proud when a church in the neighborhood started distributing copies of Koran for every copy burned.
    Similarly on their religious festivals I have seen muslims throw open the doors of their mosques for people of other faith, welcoming them to their feasts and festivities.
    That is the spirit.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosstrex

      Do you know how many people died because of the Koran in the last two days? More than 12 people (including children) were murdered by Muslim Jihadists. The people that killed them were practicing Jihad. Jihad is in the Koran and it is left up to interpretation. To distribute copies of the Koran would show how ignorant the pastor of that church is. I am no fan of Jones he did a very evil thing. His wanton disregard for the safety of Christians in Muslim lands was evil and Jones should be in Jail. So should every Muslim that murdered someone because of what Jones did. To close your eyes to Islam is folly.

      June 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    My comments await moderation.Hope Nsaidi @cnn lets them thru.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. uhadit

    If a Christian Church would have been prevented from being build all the Terrorist Fundamentalist Radicals Fanatic American Christians would have started barking that human rights, religious freedom is being violated but since a Islamic Mosque work has been stopped not a single comment in favour of the Mosque is being commented this are the double standards of the socalled champions of human rights & liberty by CHRISTIANS

    May 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosstrex

      Can you tell me where the Christian Terrorists are? Can you give me the name of a Christian group that murder Muslims in the name of Jesus? Can you name ONE Christian that strapped bombs to him or herself in an effort to kill as many human beings as possible.

      Churches all over the world are being attacked with bombs and guns and here you are calling people who stopped a Mosque from being built terrorists. You do not belong in the US, I hope you do not live here. Eventually you will hurt someone because of the Lies you believe. You are a perfect reason why the Mosque should not be built.

      June 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |

    CNN was once a great source for news from around the world as any jouronalist not on their direct payroll could upon witnessing an event send it to CNN alowing them a vast economic advantage over the long embedded major media networks built up huge bureaucratic cost.
    Yet it remained a niche news outlet, the alternative jounalism of that time, and then when they had the largest "scoop" of their careers, Panama Invasion, they sold out and suppressed it for favorable treatment by government.
    That was the last chance of FREE PRESS to regain its proper roots in US.
    It has been judt as the other majors no more than a corporate agent for thepowers that be ever since.
    Once they agreed to join in the cesorship gor monetary reasons, what value do youthinkthey realy place upon indididuals thoughts that msy hurt their bottom line?

    May 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Better still, name some monumental events in history that any news agency or *freelance* journalist has NOT sold out. Most do now(er) days. Do they not?

      May 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mickey1313

    What can be expected in the racist south. I personally am against all religion, however people have a right to practice. And of those i have personally met, Muslims seem to be some of the nicest people. And their food is great. Other comments are correct that if a Christian church was stopped the local red necks would be up in arms. Shame on this judge.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. monkeyjunction

    I'm afraid that the "American Spirit" has become no more than a politcal catch phrase in today's cynical and prejudicial society, just like "Land of the Free," and "Liberty and justice for all." Conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, huh?

    May 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill

    Nevermnd that Tenn mindset or the unforgiving, exclusionary ideas of many Christians, these folks are reacting to what they read and see daily in the news...Muslims killing and terrorizing and creating everuy sort of political havoc al over the world. They recall 911 and watch Syrian kids being slaughtered...they also know we've been routinely called the infidels who deserve death; so what can Muslims expect? Maybe they need to do some PR and also jump on these jihadist members of their group and get them into line with the 21st century and the rest of the civilized world! There are no cries of foul from any Muslim groups about the slaughter right now in Syria and none of their troops are ready to intervene...what else can we think of this religion?

    May 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    Dang! I shoulda posted that as "Deep throat" 😉 lol

    May 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I know both Muslims and Christians who are among the finest human beings I have ever met.
    Some Muslims and some Christians are terrible human beings.
    I know wonderful atheists, and terrible atheists.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mounia Muslima

    I was a baptist Christian for my entire life up till last year when I became a Muslim. While a christian, I did not seek out another religion, but one night, I came across an Imam speech on UTube accidentally. I was immediately drawn to what he was saying, it made a lot of sence. I researched tirelessly for weeks, sometimes up all night on Islam. I grew more and more interested and quickly found myself questioning Christianity. After learning the prayers I converted and began life as a Muslima praying 5x a day, reading quran and wearing a Hijab with modest clothing. I was shocked by how many people responded to me negatively (I live in the south too).  I experienced a totally different America now as a Muslim. People gaze angrily, make negative  (ignorant) comments. Christian's have been the most difficult to deal with, as my veil seems to spark their inner argumentative nature (unwanted on my end, but that usually doesn't matter). It's really been a challenge and an eye-opening experience. So when I see this story, I'm far from surprised unfortunately. I hope one day this country can look past the negative stereotypes of Islam, as they are not true. I fully support the building of this mosque and many many many more like it. It's a shame and an embarrassment to this country to have this going.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlueNC

      You were a southern baptist and are surprised by the reaction you get wearing hijab? There are intolerant people in every religion including islam and that is very sad but I think also islam is a target of anger for a lot of people.

      June 1, 2012 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Rosstrex

      I am saddened to hear your story... You left Christianity to go and worship Allah. Islam is a construct created by man. Islam a religion that supports slavery, murder, kidnapping and death to the kaffir. How on earth you could convert to such and evil religion is beyond me.

      Unless you are just another muslim that is practicing Takaya (lies designed to support Islam). Ether way you are a lost soul.

      June 2, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    Joey, your confusing true christians with false christians.

    May 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rickard

    Islam and muslims shouldn't have the same equal rights as the rest as they themselves believe they shouldn't have equal rights. Muslims believe that they should have MORE rights than others as they think they're superior. This is no different than the Nazi. Look at countries where Islam is the majority – Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and what have you – they can build any mosques at any time, yet they'll make it impossible to build other house of worships legally. Islam doesn't believe in equality. They have to win and dominate – period.

    And for those Americans who think Christian and Islam are of the same lump and behaving the same – I pity you fools. You should get out of your country more often and see the world, or at least read about the world news.

    May 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |