MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Security has been stepped up after the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro received a number of angry and threatening phone calls. The calls have come after days of violence in the middle east that claimed the life of a US ambassador among others.
Imam Ossama, the leader of the Islamic Center, said he was disappointed over the threats and he's outraged over the recent events in the middle east and condemns the violence. He said local muslims had nothing to do with what has happened overseas.
"You do not kill people. What happened is despicable," said the Imam.
Militants have attacked US embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. The protests were sparked in part by reaction to an American independent film that mocks Islam. The Imam has seen it.
"I don't think it was right. I was really angry when I watched the movie,' said the Imam. But like most Americans the Imam deplores the violence and the killings and said he wants those responsible caught.
"They're crazy and I wish they will be brought to justice," said the Imam.
The Imam said there are those just looking to blame Muslims, any Muslims. He points to the many disturbing voicemail's left in the past 48 hours on the center's answering matching.
"Yeah, me being a Christian I think you should take the Islamic Center back to Islam. That's what you should do," said one caller.
"We do not approve of your mosque in this country. I hope you appreciate what I'm saying to you," said another.
And then there was simply a message with the sound of a bomb exploding.
"I have to be concerned," said the Imam.
The Rutherford County sheriff is aware of the angry calls and security is in place to protect the Islamic Center. In addition to police patrols the Islamic Center pays for its own security guards.