Justice Department Backs Building of Tennessee Mosque

The Obama administration warns local officials that opposing the construction of an Islamic center could infringe the civil rights of its members. The construction site has already been the target of arson damage. For the second time in two months, the Obama administration has interjected itself into a dispute over a proposed Islamic center, warning local officials that opposing the mosque could violate the civil rights of its members.

The Justice Department filed court papers Monday in support of construction of a Murfreesboro, Tenn., mosque, saying local Muslims were protected by the 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion and disputing opponents’ claims that Islam is not a valid religion.