Judge Denies Request To Stop Mosque Construction - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Judge Denies Request To Stop Mosque Construction

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - A judge has denied a request for a temporary restraining order to stop construction at the site of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro.

Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew said after closing arguments on Wednesday that he could not find that the "county acted illegally, arbitrarily or capriciously," when county planners approved the site plan for an Islamic center.

The lawsuit claimed that the Tennessee open meetings law was violated because the planners failed to file adequate public notice of the meeting. But much of the questioning during seven days of testimony since late September was about whether Islam qualified a religion.

Corlew said there was some concern about the public notice requirements and suggested county or state officials look at those requirements.

"We were always hopeful, and thought it would be the proper decision, and would have been disappointed otherwise," said county attorney Jim Cope.

The case could still be appealed before the State Supreme Court.

"The plaintiffs, we're going to consult with our attorneys and discuss what our next course of action will be," said mosque opponent Laurie Cardoza-Moore. 

The Islamic Center is building a new facility because they said they've outgrown their old mosque.

The plans have been controversial among neighbors. Construction equipment near the site was set on fire over the summer, and that is currently under investigation.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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