Murfreesboro (Tennessee) mosque vandalism: Residents rally around Muslim community

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Community members numbered in the hundreds to gather in support of their Muslim neighbors during a vigil the day after the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was vandalized.

Numerous members of the crowd held homemade signs with the slogan, “Love thy neighbor,” while other signs had messages such as “Everyone be cool to each other” and “I Stand with my Muslim neighbor.” One family handed out long-stem roses.

“It’s my duty, it’s our duty, to decry senseless acts like these. Silence is not an option,” Abbie Wolf, director of community relations for the Jewish Federation of Nashville, told the crowd. “There is no place for such despicable and repugnant behavior or beliefs in our community.”

Early Monday morning, ICM members discovered vandals had spray-painted profanity on the mosque and its outdoor basketball court, as well as draped its door handles with bacon. The abuse sent shock waves through Murfreesboro’s Muslim community.

FULL ARTICLE FROM DNJ DAILY NEWS 

Judge grants Tenn. mosque petition, orders county to move ahead with opening new building

Now that a federal judge has ruled that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Rutherford County, Tenn., can open, the mosque’s imam says muslims elsewhere should take notice.

“We set an example to people everywhere,” Imam Ossama Bahloul said Wednesday, as our colleagues at Nashville Public Radio report. “We can look to the people in the middle or far east or in the middle of Africa saying to them ‘America is the role model. Try to learn from us in America.’ ”

In The Tennessean, Bahloul is quoted as saying “the winner today is not an individual, the winner today is our nation and the fact that our Constitution prevailed.”

As WPLN’s Blake Farmer has reported for All Things Considered, “an ongoing court battle … stalled the project, one of several Islamic centers around the country that, like the so-called ground zero mosque, have encountered resistance from local communities.”

In Murfreesboro, Blake said, the dispute “started out as an attempt by mosque opponents to put the religion of Islam on trial.” Local attorney Joe Brandon Jr. said he was fighting the possibility of Shariah law being imposed on the people of Rutherford County.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST 

Darkness Descends on the Muslims of Murfreesboro, Tennessee

So, it turns out Islam is a religion. Imagine that.

Granted, this would be considered self-evident by most of us, but it has been a matter of great controversy in the Tennessee town of Murfreesboro, where 17 people went to court last year to prevent a group of Muslims from building a mosque. On their own land.

The need to defend this fundamental right was only one of the ordeals visited upon the Muslims of Murfreesboro, who have also faced threats, vandalism and arson. As recently, vividly illustrated in “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door,” a troubling CNN documentary, the antagonists here are a clownish band of bigots scared witless by the prospect that a new mosque will be built in their community by a congregation that has already worshipped in said community for 30 years.

Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SEATTLE TIMES