11:37am

Fri August 24, 2012
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Opponents Continue to Contest Murfreesboro Mosque

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro received its final occupancy certificate Thursday. Friday, opponents of the Mosque continued their effort to prevent the new worship center from being used.

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro board chairman Essam Fathy says he’s 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 had ties to terrorism

They nearly succeeded earlier this summer when a Rutherford County judge ruled the meeting where the mosque's construction plans were approved was void due to insufficient public notice.

The U.S. attorney's office in Nashville stepped in, claiming violations of religious liberty. A federal judge agreed. Now the plaintiffs have filed a motion to get standing in the federal case.

The court was set to hear that challenge Friday.