10:40am

Tue July 3, 2012
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Muslim Community "Exhausted" by Mosque Controversy

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --   The Murfreesboro Muslim community is deeply disappointed that they won’t get to celebrate Ramadan in their new mosque, according to an Islamic Center spokesman.

In a hearing on the case yesterday, Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew re-affirmed his earlier ruling that construction of the Mosque can proceed, but Rutherford County won’t be allowed to issue a certificate of occupancy for the facility once it’s complete.

Dr. Saleh Sbenaty says the local Muslim community is exhausted by the ongoing controversy and doesn’t have the financial resources to mount a legal challenge of its own to the ruling.

He believes  its going to look bad for the county, state and country if the new mosque sits empty.

“If we have a building that is finished, that has been approved by the exact same process that everybody else has been using, but it stands vacant and cannot be occupied, cannot be used, it is going to really be a black spot in the history of the United States. This is the 21st. century.”

Dr. Sbenaty says the Islamic Center will be forced to hold some Ramadan events in local parks because the facility their currently using for worship won’t accommodate the holiday crowd.  The month long Ramadan observance begins this year on July 20.