Plaintiffs Rest In Murfreesboro Mosque Hearing - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Plaintiffs Rest In Murfreesboro Mosque Hearing

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(AP) MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Plaintiffs challenging the construction of a Murfreesboro mosque called a handwriting expert as their last witness. 

Jane Eakes testified Friday that the signature on a site plan application for the mosque was different from signatures on other documents that were supposedly signed by the same person. 

Under cross examination, Eakes said the documents had been provided to her by the plaintiffs' attorney and she had no way of knowing if they were authentic. 

Eakes was the only witness Friday, the seventh day of testimony since the hearing began in late September. 

Plaintiffs are asking the Rutherford County Chancery Court to grant a temporary restraining order to stop site work on the land where the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is to be built. 

Opponents said the planning commission failed to have a public hearing in the spring. 

The defense will present its case Monday. Supporters hope the judge will toss out the case so that they can start construction.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro will seek a building permit to begin construction at the Veals Road site in the next four months. 

The group is working with an architect in Chattanooga to come up with a design. 

The new facility calls for a center of at least 50,000 square feet, with a mosque for prayer services, offices and meeting rooms. 

During the previous six days of testimony in the trial, plaintiffs lawyer Joe Brandon has consistently questioned Rutherford County leaders about Islam itself. 

This despite the Justice Department's announcement that Islam has been a recognized religion since the nation was founded. 

The plaintiffs argue that Islam is a political movement.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Story)

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