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Murfreesboro Mosque Saga Continues: Judge Voids Planning Commission’s Approval

30 May 2012 General 19 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

Murfreesboro Mosque Saga Continues: Judge Voids Planning Commission’s Approval

County Judge Robert Corlew III decided to void the county planning commission’s approval of the mosque project based not on the Mosque opponents wacky claims about stealth-jihad, islamization, Islam not being a religion, etc., but the narrow reason that the county did not give “adequate public notice about a request to build the mosque.” That is a helluva lot more rational reason than the hyperbolic, fear-mongering, hate-filled nonsense that we’ve become accustomed to hearing from the Lou Ann Zelenik anti-Murfreesboro mosque camp.

The judge did not however call for “construction to be stopped” and so County and Mosque officials are saying construction will continue for the time being:

County says it won’t order halt to mosque construction

by Bob Smietana (The Tennessean)

UPDATE: Rutherford County has no immediate plans revoke the building permit for an embattled Murfreesboro mosque.

“The county is going to look at all the possibilities,” said Jim Cope, attorney for Rutherford County. “This could take weeks.”

Construction at the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was set to continue today, despite a judge’s decision that voided the county planning commission’s approval of the project. But the judge did not order a stop to the construction.

Opponents of the mosque want construction to end immediately. Mosque officials say the work will continue until they get official word to stop.

“There are two sides here that disagree,” said Cope. “The county is not the umpire here.”

Cope said that county officials are waiting for a court order from Judge Robert Corlew III before taking their next step. They could file a motion to reconsider or appeal the judge’s decision.

Blocking the mosque project could lead to a federal lawsuit under the religious anti-discrimination laws.

“There are a lot of moving parts in this,” said Cope.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

A judge says the Rutherford County planning commission violated state law by not giving adequate public notice about a request to build a mosque in Murfreesboro. But the judge did not say whether work on the building has to stop.

Mosque supporters and opponents disagree on whether the ruling means construction work at the site should stop immediately until there is another planning meeting to discuss the request again. Essam Fathy, head of the construction committee for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said workers will return to the Veals Road site today to continue building the 52,960-square-foot mosque because no one in county government has told them to stop. “This has all come as a big surprise,” he said.

Fathy said there is still about six weeks of work left on the first phase of the project — 12,000 square feet — which began in September.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Rutherford County Building Codes Department had not revoked the mosque’s building permit.

But Joe Brandon, attorney for the plaintiffs who filed suit against the county in 2010 challenging the public notice process, said the judge’s ruling means the work cannot legally continue. “At the present time, they (congregation members) are in violation of the law if they as much as lift a hammer,” Brandon said.

Brandon said the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was not a named party in the lawsuit and that’s probably why the judge’s order doesn’t specifically order construction halted.

But he said the judge’s ruling erases the site approval, and without that approval, the building permit should be invalid.

Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled Tuesday that the commission failed to give adequate public notice of a May 24, 2010, meeting. At that meeting, commissioners approved the new building plans for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. But the judge said the commission’s actions were “null and void.”

State law requires that government bodies provide adequate public notice of meetings, but it does not offer many specifics beyond that. Attorneys for Rutherford County have argued that the notice in the printed edition of the Murfreesboro Post and on the paper’s website met the notice requirements.

The county’s legal department did not return calls late Tuesday.

Jim Cope, Rutherford County attorney, told The Tennessean in July 2011 that if the site plan approval was revoked, then mosque leaders probably would have to reapply to the planning commission. Because the Veals Road site is already zoned for religious use, there would be no public hearing or comments on the site plan.

“What we’d have in effect is a ‘do-over,’ ” Cope said last year.

The county attorney also could appeal the decision.

‘A huge victory’

The judge said the commission can meet again to discuss the mosque project, as long as it gives proper notice to the public. Mosque opponents and other members of the public have a right to attend that meeting, but they don’t have the right to speak at the meeting, Corlew wrote. And any future decision by the commission can’t discriminate against members of the mosque, he said.

The next commission meeting is set for June 11.

Imam Osama Bahloul said leaders of the Islamic center would do whatever the county asked of them. “We want to obey the law,” he said. “We want to be good citizens.”

Brandon repeated his belief that the Islamic center is a political organization, not a religious group. “Today is a huge victory. It’s the first time that the political movement of Islam has been stopped in its tracks.”

If the Islamic center gets approved for a new site plan, he said, then the plaintiffs would file a new lawsuit. “They are in this for the long haul.”

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19 Comments »

  1. Sounds like Bull tome.

  2. Once again, the inmates have taken over the asylum.

  3. in the name of allah , the beneficent, the merciful.
    say: o unbelievers i do not serve that which you serve ,nor do you serve him whom i serve , nor am i going to serve that which you serve , nor are you going to serve him whom i serve , you shall have your religion and i shall have my religion..

  4. It could be true. It happens a lot that people don’t give adequate public notice. Actually happened to me once.

  5. There’s suppose to be freedom of religion in the U.S. The anti-Muslim haters need to stop this crap!

  6. So, what does the chapter of the Quran that was revealed in response to the pagans attempting to convince the Muslims to be pagan, alternating with the pagans being Muslim the next, have to do with the Murfreesboro?

  7. “So, what does the chapter of the Quran that was revealed in response to the pagans attempting to convince the Muslims to be pagan, alternating with the pagans being Muslim the next, have to do with the Murfreesboro?”

    What does that chapter have to do with anything these days? If a god wanted to get its message across to all of humanity for all of existence why would it bang on about a minor scuffle on the arabian peninsula?

  8. This was an interesting case because they presented the argument that Islam is not a religion. Hungary refuses to recognize it as a religion,

    Maybe that is the method of the future. It will be declared a tribal/political movement, not much interested in the attributes of the Divine at all.

    On TV, media people were surprised to find that some of the people fighting this had lived/worked in muslim countries. As usual, they ascribed their animosity to ignorance and not familiarity, just as they used to do with communism.

  9. “I propose we petition the justice dept to look into the intimidation of rural americas concerted effort to stop mosque construction. I propose a organized campaign to enact Farheen’s Law…or Farheen’s campaign. Farheen was 12 years old. she died in a car wreck with a semi truck on the highway from the town of porterville to visalia.california.. Visalia did not allow a jamatkhana to be built the city council called ismailis a “cult” sound familiar??? Farheens parents who were the imam had to drive 15 times a month to porterville to attend the mosque. one night they were in a terrible accident coming home around midnight. Farheen died because of islamophobia with people in visalia attending the city council meeting and sayingthings like i dont want a mosque where people will be building bombs!! today the tenessee town of 100,000 the judge moved to deny permit for the mosque. its time for a national campiagn and the justice dept must act..” on

  10. the right to congregate the right to worship…i thought these were fundamental rights??

  11. She did not die of islamophobia, she died because she happened to be on the road, for whatever reason.

    Many mosques are funded by SA and spew the salafi/wahabi hatred. This is not the work of a few extremists, it is a large company of vicious jerks and their multitudes of sympathizers, with the mindset of WW2 Nazis or Japanese: “We are divine, everyone else is trash worthy of death.”

    The terrorist motel, the hate factory.

    Why should any nation be obliged to tolerate something that brags of wanting to destroy it? Such a “religion” is politics and murder.

    Why would non muslims want to see muslims in their midst?

  12. anon,

    we have freedom of religion, you can’t pick and choose which of the mythologies you are going to allow and which you disallow. we can’t lower ourselves to the wahabist/salafist level. using local code to manipulate construction of private property because you don’t like the intended purpose of the building is not right. it’s not right when it comes to wal-mart and not right for mosques.

  13. The japanese are in the same trap with the Aum Shinrikyo. A murderous cult protected by freedom of religion.

    I think the West will be driven to choose what it can tolerate. Can’t tolerate the intolerable.

  14. “On 10 October 1995, Aum Shinrikyo was ordered to be stripped of its official status as a “religious legal entity” and was declared bankrupt in early 1996. However the group continues to operate under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion, funded by a successful computer business and donations, and under strict surveillance. Attempts to ban the group altogether under the 1952 Subversive Activities Prevention Law were rejected by the Public Security Examination Commission in January 1997.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo

    interesting. i thought they were disbanded after the sarin attacks.

    ther is a limit to freedom of religion.

  15. The Germans refused to recognize Scientology as a religion, rejecting it as a financial scheme. Some countries pick and choose which religions to recognize and allow.

    Islam could be rejected as a political scheme which maintains a violent enforcer group, much like white US southerners, perhaps not violent themselves, maintained the KKK.

    The rest of the world does not have to put up with this.

  16. true. but we aren’t some counrties. certainly not germany. we are america. the germans also outlaw some freedom of speech. denying the holocoust. the swastika. they are socialist as well. we recognize scientology, much to the shagrin of the pinellas county tax appraiser. but that’s a whole other can of worms.

    “Islam could be rejected as a political scheme which maintains a violent enforcer group” of course, a totalitarian government can do anything. any religion could be seen as just that. well maybe not the amish. but that doesn’t mean the government should. onward christian soldiers. did you see the north carolina preacher who wants to build a 150ft electrified fence to put all the fags in? sounds like a violent enforcer? well he was goning to air lift them food. mightly nice of him.

    “The rest of the world does not have to put up with this.” what??????? where is islam banned. even the chinese and russians have muslim terrorists. pretty much where ever there are muslims there is muslim terror attacks.

    btw you see bloomberg wants to ban soda over 16ozs. you and hilary might get your fat tax yet.

  17. America will find a way.

    Another thing the MSM is craven about is the sex research being done on homosexuality. I see these startling bits here and there. They have discovered the mechanism of sex selection in animal brains and have been able to manipulate it.

    I give biological human homosexuality 25 more years. There will still be the debauched kind, based on deprivation, e.g. prison. The people ranting against it now are wasting their time.

    Comparing relatively isolated crazy men with the phalanxes of murderers the muslims maintain is false comparison. Lefties used to compare communist purges with the Hollywoood red hunt: Oh we were terrible too, we threw some actors out of work.

    It is easier to control weight if one does not eat processed foods. Nothing in an envelope, box or package.

    Silly things: drinking, smoking, soda addiction, climbing Mt. Everest….

  18. not for people following rules made by brown people =(

  19. Ah, yes, the brownness. That’s what it is!

    It is not despised because of the idiotic theocratic ideas and tribal hatred of the other. It is because it is a brown thing!

    How about blackness, the arabs don’t seem to have respect for that either.

    Tell me, does the brown thing feel entitled to kill the white thing? In that case, the white thing should throw out the brown thing.

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