MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - More than a dozen Murfreesboro residents are joining in on the ongoing mosque lawsuit. They fear that if the building is completed it will hurt their property values among other things.
This brings the total number of plaintiffs in the case to 17. On Wednesday, a representative from attorney Joe Brandon filed the paperwork for an additional 14 people, all of which are neighbors who live near the construction site off Bradyville Pike.
The residents are joining the legal battle because they want their concerns heard in court and they hope it will help stop the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro from being built. They claim in a release to NewsChannel 5 that if the mosque is completed it will affect their property values, their safety and their privacy.
In a joint statement released, the residents said, "We joined this lawsuit because of our concerns for our community, The local government changed the zoning in our residential neighborhood and we didn't know anything about it. We can't even get into our homes without a video camera following us. We don't know who owns it. There is a direct connection between the ICM leadership and the Muslim Brotherhood. We are concerned and do not intend to tolerate Bradyville Road becoming a constitution free zone."
Their attorney Joe Brandon claims a camera has been put up on the site and it violates neighbors privacy.
"A video surveillance camera has been place (sic) on a utility pole to watch neighbors come and go from their property. This form of intimidation should not be allowed," Brandon said.
However, a representative from the Islamic Center said they are not aware of any camera on site.
"I have no idea what they are talking about. There is no camera on our site. We Just want to reside with them in peace we want to be friends with our neighbors. We will address any concerns they have," Sayeh Sbenaty told NewsChannel 5.
Sbenaty said there was a traffic study going on in the area and the camera referenced could be there for that purpose, but officials in Rutherford County planning office said it did not belong to them.
It will ultimately be up to the judge in this case whether he wants to accept these additional plaintiffs into the trial. The Murfreesboro Mosque hearing will continue next Wednesday.