MURFREESBORO — An Islamic Center of Murfreesboro leader Tuesday questioned why plaintiffs opposed to government approval of mosque construction continue to appeal their case.
“We have already wasted enough energy and money on this issue,” said Saleh Sbenaty, a board member with the ICM and a 20-year professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro. “We have been here for over 30 years. This is our home. We are productive members of our community. We have no other place to go.”
The plaintiffs hope the state’s top court will overrule a Tennessee Appeals Court decision in late May that supported the way the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission approved plans for the ICM to construct a mosque on Veals Road, off Bradyville Pike.
Federal court intervenes
A federal court in Nashville intervened at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice and the ICM in July 2012 and determined that the local case violated the congregation’s First Amendment religious freedom and land-use rights. The federal court ruling allowed the congregation to move into its new mosque in August 2012, before the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a time when Muslims are to fast during the day, worship at night, seek forgiveness and treat others well.
Ahead of Remembrance Sunday on November 8, commemorating the end of the First World War, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) published a special report highlighting the long-standing and continued support for the Armed Forces. “Remembering the Brave: The Muslim Contribution to Britain’s Armed Forces” outlines how Muslims have made a historic contribution to the defense of the nation. The document also covers the current contribution of British Muslims to the UK military.
Highlighting past polling data, the document suggests that British Muslims tend to take the sophisticated enough stand to support our troops while dissenting from the government’s decision to send those troops to controversial conflicts. An ICM-run survey in June of 500 British Muslims over the age of 16, found that 78 percent said they opposed Taliban attacks against UK and NATO soldiers in Afghanistan and three-quarters of those surveyed said it was wrong for the West to intervene militarily in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In this publication, the MCB acknowledges that the operations which the Armed Forces are engaged in today are deeply controversial. But that is not simply a concern amongst Muslims; it is shared by other British people also.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the FBI and local law enforcement to investigate a paintball attack on a mosque in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Officials at the Islamic Center of Maryland (ICM) said that up to 70 paintballs were shot at the facility on a recent early Saturday morning. “We urge both the FBI and local police to investigate a possible bias motive for this incident,” said CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper.
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More than a third of British Asians do not feel British, a BBC poll suggests. The research among the under-34s for the Asian Network found 38% of the UK residents of South Asian origin felt only slightly or not at all British. More than a third agreed to get on in the UK they needed to be a “coconut”, a term for somebody who is “brown on the outside but white on the inside”. ICM Research interviewed 500 Asian people aged 16-34 and 235 white people aged 18-34 between 4 and 12 July. Of those polled 84% were satisfied with life in Britain and almost half thought they have more opportunities here. All of the British Asians polled were of South Asian origin… Among the British Asians interviewed were 296 Muslims, 112 Hindus, 39 Sikhs and 33 Christians.
Most British Muslims back the government’s plans to deport radical Islamist “hate preachers” it says could inspire bombers like those who attacked London in July, a poll published on Sunday showed. The ICM poll found that 65 percent of Muslims backed the new government measures and 27 percent opposed them. Ninety percent said they would immediately tell police if they suspected someone was planning or had carried out a terrorist attack. Just over two thirds of those questioned said Britain’s 1.8 million Muslims bore “a lot” of responsibility for rooting out Islamist extremists, 19 percent said they bore “a little” responsibility and nine percent said they bore none. ICM interviewed 500 Muslims by telephone between Sept. 1 and 7 for the poll, published in the News Of The World newspaper. Home Secretary Charles Clarke has published a list of “unacceptable behaviours” which would prompt immediate action — either deportation or a ban on entry. Last month, Britain said it was detaining 10 people, including the alleged spiritual leader of Al Qaeda in Europe, Jordanian national Abu Qatada, and would deport them. It has also barred hardline Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who left for Lebanon last month, from returning to Britain. Civil liberties campaigners say they are worried Britain will deport people to countries where they might be tortured. The government responds that it is seeking agreements with other governments — like one it struck recently with Jordan — to guarantee the safety of deportees.