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Pat Robertson’s comments on Murfreesoboro mosque plan ‘ridiculous’, says mayor

Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess and others scoffed at comments by nationally known televangelist Pat Robertson on his 700 Club program Thursday that Muslims could bribe local officials to expand their influence.

“It’s entirely possible,” Robertson said during the broadcast following a report from his show about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro‘s plans to build a 52,960-square-foot structure on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike southeast of the city.

The 700 Club cable TV program included an interview with Burgess, who said afterward he was not impressed with what Robertson had to say. “The comments were so ridiculous they do not deserve a response,” Burgess said.

Robertson said money from wealthy Muslims in Saudi Arabia could be used to pay for the mosque’s construction. The Middle East country, he said, practices a more extreme form of Islam. “This isn’t just religion,” Robertson said.

He went on to say that Muslims could end up taking over the city council to pass ordinances that require public prayer and foot washing. Before long, you’ll have girls in schools with head dresses on, he said.

Robertson described the conflict as a clash of civilizations between one that represents the 8th century desert world and the other that’s the modern view of the world.

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro member Saleh Sbenaty said he was offended by Roberts’ comments. “Pat Robertson is well-known for his hate messages and attitudes toward Islam and Muslims and for making false accusations,” said Sbenaty, an 18-year engineering professor at MTSU. “His comments are not worth even a response from my side.”

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