Following a two year legal battle, Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Corlew of the Chancery Court for the 16th Judicial District of Tennessee, issued a ruling which some argue should have effectively ended construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.
The court held that the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission did not give “sufficient” notice to county residents regarding planned meetings to discuss construction of the mosque. Therefore, it was reasoned, the actions of the commission regarding the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro “are in fact void and of no effect.”
Despite the ruling, construction continues as attorneys on both sides debate whether the court intended to immediately halt construction. This highly anticipated ruling serves as another climatic event in an emotionally charged dispute which literally placed Islam on trial.
Since May of 2010, mosque opponents have veraciously fought to stop construction of the Islamic Center in their largely rural community. During court hearings, they offered explosive testimony questioning the legitimacy of Islam as a religion, further claiming that the proposed mosque is a part of a Muslim plot to replace the United States Constitution with extremist Islamic law.
The controversial claims sparked renewed debate, and continues to focus the international spotlight on Murfreesboro (Tennessee). Although the court ruling offered mosque opponents a taste of victory, the battle appears to be far from over.
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