published Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Murfreesboro mosque receives occupancy permit

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has received its final approval after a nearly two-year legal battle to prevent it from opening.

Islamic Center board chairman Essam Fathy said Thursday he was relieved and happy the mosque has its permanent occupancy permit.

Since construction was approved in May 2010, the mosque has been targeted by vandalism, arson and a bomb threat.

A group of neighbors sued Rutherford County to try to stop construction. Among other things, they claimed that local Muslims were compelled by their religion to try to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Islamic law.

That claim was dismissed, but construction approvals were voided briefly for other reasons before a federal judge last month cleared the way for the mosque to open.

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