Back in November 2010, after months of expensive hearings and expressions of anti-Islamic sentiment, including arson, a judge cleared the way for Muslims in Murfreesboro, TN, to build their Islamic center. Joe Brandon, Jr., the lawyer opposed to the mosque construction, vowed back then to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary, to block construction of the center.
For over 30 years, Muslims have met in Murfreesboro. They needed a larger center.
Although construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is now well underway, another judge has stopped further construction of the mosque. In his decision, the judge said that proper notice was not given for a public meeting where the mosque's site plan was approved.
The decision does not stop Rutherford County's planning commission from reconsidering the matter and approving the site plan a second time.
Opponents of the mosque have long been fighting construction, arguing that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro "has terrorist ties" and that "Islam does not deserve First Amendment protection." The judge dismissed those allegations and the trial was held on the much more narrow claim that the public meeting law was violated.