Murfreesboro mosque leader says enough’s enough: Foes of the center in Murfreesboro file request to appeal

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.

Murfreesboro Islamic Center Hosts Open House to Open Minds

June 26, 2010

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro opened it doors Saturday night to anyone who wanted to learn more about them. The center has out grown its current home on Middle Tennessee Blvd. They plan to build a new 52,000 square foot mosque on Veals Road. The plan meeting some serious opposition. People like George Erdel, who claims to have studied the religion for 11 years, believes Islam isn’t a religion, but rather a political movement.

Murfreesboro Islamic Center Hosts Open House to Open Minds

June 26, 2010

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro opened it doors Saturday night to anyone who wanted to learn more about them. The center has out grown its current home on Middle Tennessee Blvd. They plan to build a new 52,000 square foot mosque on Veals Road. The plan meeting some serious opposition. People like George Erdel, who claims to have studied the religion for 11 years, believes Islam isn’t a religion, but rather a political movement.

Murfreesboro Mosque Debate Turns Ugly

Hugh Kramer

Murfreesboro is a growing little city of 100,000 people about 30 miles southeast of Nashville in Tennessee. Since 1997 it had a mosque and Islamic Center that serves the needs of Muslims in five counties. Like Murfreesboro, this community is growing too and in January, the Islamic Center announced it was planning to build a new, larger facility on land it had purchased along the Bradyville Pike at Veals Road. And that’s when things first got ugly.