Murfreesboro Mosque Supporters Have Their Voices Heard
By Chris Cannon
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - In the middle of the Rutherford County courthouse lobby, more than two dozen people formed a prayer circle in support of a controversial new mosque.
The prayer vigil was held one week after nearly 650 filled the same courthouse to make it known they did not want the Muslim community building a new Islamic Center on Veals Road.
"We most overcome this ignorance, this cloud of racial darkness that is over our community. We must overcome it," said vigil organizer Darrell Bouldin.
Those who attended the vigil said the came to show there is tolerance within the Murfreesboro community for people of different religions.
"Freedom of religion. That's my basic reason for being here, my belief in freedom of religion," Beverly Yousef Zadeh said after the vigil ended.
Pastor Mike Williams led the group in prayer and meditation Thursday night.
"Be present as you meditate on peace, tolerance and compassion," Williams told the crowd.
As they stood in silent meditation, someone who opposed the mosque broke that silence.
"You folks can do all your meditating you'd like. These people are coming here to take over the United States," the man said.
His statement was quickly drowned out as the prayer group raised their voices in song to counteract what the protestor had to say. But that did not stop those who are against the building of the Islamic Center from getting out their message against Muslims.
"No mosque in Murfreesboro. I don't want it. I don't want them here," Evy Summers explained.
"Go start their own country overseas somewhere. This is a Christian country. It was based on Christianity," Summers went on to say.
The Rutherford County Planning Commission has already approved the 52,000 square Islamic Center on Veals Road. The Muslim community in Rutherford County has doubled in size in recent years and they have out grown their current mosque in Murfreesboro.