6:39am

Mon August 13, 2012
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Local Muslims Worship in New Mosque

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Muslims in the Tennessee city of Murfreesboro were able to celebrate Friday prayers in a new mosque after more than two years of controversy about the building.

Opponents of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro who sued to try to halt construction were nowhere to be seen. Instead the worship space was filled with smiling men, women and children.

Mosque members have had to deal with public protests, vandalism, arson of a construction vehicle and a bomb threat. Last month, a federal judge granted an emergency order to open the building in time for the holy month of Ramadan, which is still under way.

After prayers on Friday, board chairman Essam Fathy said he felt like the hardships they faced over the past two years have already started to dissipate.