Judge: Tenn. Mosque Can Open

Murfreesboro mosque has been the subject of much controversy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2012 8:32 AM CDT
Judge: Tenn. Mosque Can Open
In a Thursday, June 21, 2012 file photo, a worker walks out of the construction site of a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tenn.    (Erik Schelzig)

Muslims in a Tennessee congregation prepared today for the holy month of Ramadan a day after a federal judge ruled they have a right to occupy their newly built mosque, overruling a county judge's order that was keeping them out. The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County yesterday and asked US District Judge Todd Campbell for an emergency order to let worshippers into the building before Ramadan starts at sundown today. Federal prosecutors also filed a similar lawsuit.

The future of the controversial mosque had been in question since May, when a local judge overturned the county's approval of the mosque construction. This month, he ordered the county not to issue an occupancy permit for the 12,000-square-foot building. Campbell ordered the county to move ahead on approving the mosque for use, although it wasn't immediately clear if that could happen by today, since final inspection of the building is required. (More Murfreesboro, Tennessee stories.)

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