12:33pm

Tue April 24, 2012
Case Opens Wednesday Morning in Murfreesboro

Mosque Construction Continues as Court Case Looms

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The Murfreesboro Mosque case returns to the Rutherford County Courthouse Wednesday morning.

Plaintiffs are asking Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew to rescind a building permit awarded nearly two years ago by the county for the construction of a new mosque on Veals Road.

Construction is well underway on the Islamic Center’s new facility. Mosque spokesman Saleh Sbenaty gave WMOT a tour of the construction site Monday. The walls and roof are essentially complete and workmen are now starting on the building’s interior.

Sbenaty says the congregation would like to be excited about the project, but they’ve learned to be cautious.

“We see the building coming off the ground and close to being ready, but there is always a shadow hanging behind us, which is basically the lawsuit. We’re hoping that, you know, the lawsuit will be dismissed and the community will heal itself again."

Phase One of the mosque’s construction is actually a multi-purpose facility that will be used for worship for the foreseeable future.  The Islamic Center also intends to open the building to the community for local events

Sbenaty says every worship service and meeting held in the facility will be open to the public. They hope to move into the new building in time for Ramadan, which begins this year in late July.