In Tennessee mosque fight, religious freedom trumps Islamophobia

By Charles C. Haynes

After four years of protests, lawsuits, vandalism, arson, and a bomb threat, American Muslims in Murfreesboro, Tenn., can finally celebrate the power of religious freedom to triumph over hate and fear — at least in the courts.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court put an end to a lawsuit filed in 2010 challenging the permit issued by Rutherford County for construction of an Islamic Center near the city of Murfreesboro. By declining to hear the case, the High Court let stand a Tennessee Court of Appeals decision in favor of county officials.

Opponents of the mosque — convinced that Muslims are a threat to their community — had tried various tactics to halt construction of the Islamic Center. In a last-ditch legal maneuver, they filed suit, charging that the county had given inadequate public notice of a meeting to approve the site plan for the Center. [Read more...]

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