8:19am

Mon November 4, 2013
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Opponents of Mosque Vow Fight to Supreme Court

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — Opponents of a mosque in Murfreesboro are pledging to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court after Tennessee’s Supreme Court justices declined to take up the case.

Neighbors of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro have been arguing in court for three years that the construction approval was illegal. They say there was insufficient public notice for the planning commission meeting where the approval occurred.

Comments by plaintiff’s attorney Joe Brandon Jr. makes it clear his clients also see the case as a battle against the imposition of Islamic law.

“The fact that they will not go back through the process - that is Sharia Law. They didn’t give notice. If this had been me, you, anybody else, that was building something without a valid site plan, the government would have come down.”

Mosque spokesman Dr. Saleh Sbenaty responded by noting that thousands of building permits were issued by the county using the same process.

“There are houses of worship and businesses and so many other institutions that applied using the same process, so picking on us only – based on our religion – that means discrimination.”

Sbenaty says continuing to pursue the case is a waste of tax payer’s money and called the state court appeal “sad.”