“The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro ‘s plans call for a 52,000-sq. ft. facility that would include a pool, gym, and school in addition to a mosque.”
But only Islamophobes could wonder who’s paying for it all. Only Islamophobes could think there’s something odd about a mega-mosque in a town of 100,000 in middle Tennessee. And so this story makes every effort to make the locals who are opposed to it look like narrow-minded, reactionary xenophobes who jest plain don’t cotton to people with different beliefs — that’s all it could be.
“Plan for Mosque in Tennessee Town Draws Criticism from Residents,” by Bradley Blackburn for ABC News, June 18:
A plan to build an Islamic community center in the middle-Tennessee town of Murfreesboro sparked an eruption of ugly criticism on Thursday from some residents who don’t want a mosque built in their backyard.
More than 600 people turned out for a meeting of the Rutherford County Commission Thursday night, with some sharing their opposition in public comments that at times turned intolerant.
“We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam,” Allen Jackson, the pastor of World Outreach Church, said at the meeting.
The implication: Jackson has no possible reason to object to the mosque except as pastor of World Outreach Church.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro ‘s plans call for a 52,000-sq. ft. facility that would include a pool, gym, and school in addition to a mosque. The center has had a facility in Murfreesboro since 1997, but says that with over 250 Islamic families in the community, it needs more space.
A whole lot of space, apparently.
“It is not a huge mosque as they are saying,” said Imam Ossama Bahloul. “This place is too small for us and we have to move.”
Murfreesboro has a population of just over 100,000, according the the U.S. Census Bureau. It is about 30 miles southeast of Nashville.
Would enough Music City Muslims even commute on a regular basis to fill the place?
Some at the Thursday meeting wore religious or patriotic-themed clothing, and no one defended the plan in two hours of public comments, the Tennessean newspaper reported.
“They seem to be against everything that I believe in, and so I don’t want them necessarily in my neighborhood spreading that type of comment,” said one man at the meeting.
Tracey Steven, who also attended, said, “Our country was founded through the founding fathers — through the true God, the Father and Jesus Christ.”
Some Cite Traffic, Housing Values as Concerns
Others opposed to the plan did so for more practical reasons, citing concerns about the effects on traffic and housing values. The mosque would be built in a primarily residential area.
“I was very surprised they would approve of that for any religion,” said resident Jackie Archer.
Despite the outrage, county officials said Thursday that the plan will go ahead. They defended their decision by noting that the mosque plan met zoning requirements and it is illegal to reject a project for religious reasons….