Opponents Want Construction Stopped At Islamic Center - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Opponents Want Construction Stopped At Islamic Center

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Opponents of an Islamic Center in Rutherford County have asked a judge to stop construction at the site.

Construction has continued despite a ruling last week that approval for the project was void because of inadequate public notice.

A judge said the county did not give the public sufficient notice of the meeting. Plans for the mosque were approved at a meeting on May 24, 2010 and were only published in the Murfreesboro Post.

County officials said they could not stop the construction without a "stop work order."

Plaintiffs' attorneys believe the ruling means construction on the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro must halt.

An order filed last week failed to halt construction. The judge filed another order on June 1 making clear that opponents of the mosque needed to file a separate motion to get the construction to stop.

Attorney Joe Brandon filed an injunction Wednesday asking a judge to issue the order so work would stop.

The mosque is less than six weeks from completion, and Islamic leaders said construction will continue until they're told to stop. They hoped to have the new facility up and running in time for the holy month of Ramadan in July.

"We are the victims here, but we are trying to continue to be reasonable. We will continue to do our part as we're supposed to do and I'm comfortable that with the protection of The Constitution this building will exist," said Ossama Bahloul, the Imam of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

Rutherford County Attorney Jim Cope said he will contest the order because he does not believe it accurately reflects the judge's ruling. Cope said he believes plaintiffs would likely have to sue the mosque if they want to halt construction.

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