|Appeals court could end Islamic Center debate
|Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 2:55 pm
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Because the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is built and under operation, the Tennessee State Court of Appeals could declare the ongoing lawsuit of no significance at this point, allowing it to remain open.
"If the center is open and active, why is this not moot?" Appellate Judge Andy Bennett asked Rutherford County Attorney Josh McCreary during oral arguments Tuesday morning in Kevin Fisher et al. v. Rutherford County, otherwise known as the Murfreesboro mosque case.
McCreary responded the case isn't exactly "moot," even though the center is open because a federal action is still pending.
A federal judge stayed Chancellor Robert Corlew's April 2012 decision that the Rutherford County Planning Commission failed to provide adequate public notice prior to approving construction of the Islamic Center during a May 24, 2010, regularly scheduled meeting because it didn't place notice in a variety of media.
"If Chancellor Corlew's order is allowed to stand, then the center has no occupancy permit and is open illegally," McCreary explained.
Corlew also issued a "heightened notice requirement," McCreary added, which said the Planning Commission should have utilized multiple media outlets to inform residents about the Islamic Center proposal. This is not required under current state law.
McCreary tried to explain the heightened notice ruling could cause problems, but Bennett interjected that all of Corlew's rulings would be vacated and would not apply anymore, should the appeals court find the issue moot.
Later in the oral arguments, Bennett posed the same questions to plaintiff's attorney Joe Brandon.
To which Brandon responded that the case is not moot beacuse the Islamic Center is operating illegally and "is an organ of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Bennett responded because it is already built and in use and the plaintiff's aim was to keep it from being built, then they were arguing over a case that has already resolved itself and could very well be moot.
"But the rights of the people must override the will of the government," Brandon replied.
Bennett's response was to ask for Brandon's summation.
Prior to the justices questioning of Brandon, The Murfreesboro Post attorney David LaRoche argued the chancellor unnecessarily created controversy when none existed prior to the Islamic Center lawsuit, yet he declined to rule on its status as a newspaper of general circulation.
As a result of those doubts being raised, he is arguing The Post has suffered a decline in advertising revenue for many types of legal notices even though it meets the definition of a newspaper of general circulation under Tennessee law.
The justices seemed unmoved by the arguement.
"The court held ultimately that the notice was inadequate, not because of your notice, but how the county ultilized your notice," Judge Richard Dinkins said. "I don't see how that creates a controversy for your newspaper."
LaRoche replied,"The way it worked out was that, in common terms, we were thrown under the bus and we're stuck underneath it."
The Court of Appeals could take between three months and one year to issue a ruling, capping off a nearly three-year battle between opponents of the Islamic Center, who have fought to stop construction of the new mosque, located on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike in Murfreesboro.
In addition to touting the issue as a terrorism concern, Islamic Center opponents have based much of their argument on the assertion that a public notice published May 2, 2010, in The Post was insufficient because, at that time, it was not a newspaper of general circulation.
|Tagged under Court of Appeals, David LaRoche, ICM, Islam, Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Joe Brandon, Josh McCreary, Murfreesboro, Planning Commission, Public Notice, Robert Corlew, Rutherford County, Tennessee, The Murfreesboro Post
Notice problems or not, It's obvious this issue has always been about the Mosque itself, otherwise the approval would have likely gone unchallenged. That is not to say that resident concerns are unfounded though, as there are good reasons for them.
The fact of the matter is that we are at war with radical islam, a movement which seeks to establish islamic theocracies throughout the world. Furthermore, it still remains in question how the 53,000 square foot murfreesboro mosque has been paid for, as the 45 or so members (of the 200 or so muslims in the area) could not have possibly afforded its construction alone.
According to Shariafinancewatch.com, "the plot of land on which the mosque sits is listed in the name of one Abdoulrahman Kattih. Mr. Kattih is the head of an organization called the Islamic Education and Services Institute of Chattanooga…Kattih’s Islamic Education and Services Institute is housed in an old house in an isolated, backwoods area outside Chattanooga, Tennessee. Right next door is a large, empty parcel of land belonging to the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)…NAIT was named as an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing conviction in US history. NAIT is an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was also named an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, as well as being identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front group."http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2012/06/27/deed-holder-for-murfreesboro-mosque-lot-tied-to-nait/
Another issue of concern is the need for such a massive mosque for an area with only 200 or so muslims? To put it's size in better perspective, I live in a three bedroom house just under 1,000 square feet, which means the mosque is between 55 to 60 times larger than an average sized three bedroom house!
Considering the mosque's size and source of funding, is it really fair to write off citizen concerns as "islamophobia"? Are the people who make this accusation aware of the realities of islam?
It is not difficult to see how islam seeks to establish theocracies throughout the world, and even secular Islamic societies are writhe with the same oppressive backwardness as countries such as Iran and Afghanistan. European countries have been overrun with muslims demanding the establishment of sharia courts to govern their own affairs, and they're populations are rapidly growing.
Is is my personal belief that the murfreesboro mosque has much more in common with a large training and/or self-governance facility than it does with a place of religious worship. It is also very unfortunate that idealistic people refuse to even consider the truth of this supposed "religion", the doctrine of which commands muslims to establish islamic theocracies throughout the world.
I can understand the call for tolerance, but tolerance must be reciprocal. I unfortunately see very little in the way of tolerance coming from the muslim world, in which it is common place to murder non-muslims, especially those who convert to another religion. Here is an excellent example of such a case that recently occurred in the United States, in which a muslim man beheaded two coptic christians. http://www.copticworld.org/articles/1775/.
Also, there is the issue of honor killings of muslim women accused of being non-virgins and adulterers. It is bad enough for this to happen at all, but it often happens to women who have lost their virginity or committed "adultery" as a consequence of being raped. The circumstances make little difference in the islamic world, and the women are usually murdered as a result. To underline the prevalence of honor killings in the islamic world, they account for about one third of homicides in the country of Jordan alone.http://www.pbs.org/speaktruthtopower/rana.html.
Given the evidence at hand, is there any reason NOT to oppose the murfreesboro mosque? In my opinion there is not, and it is past due time to put ideals aside and deal with reality. There is nothing "islamophobic" about it.
200 Muslims?????? I'm guessing you don't live here. And here's a piece of advice, don't get your news from "shariafinancewatch.com." That's not exactly an unbiased news source.
I can't believe you ended your rant with "there is nothing islamophobic about it" when your ENTIRE RANT was nothing but propaganda against muslims.
Maybe you didn't realize it, but these people are united states citizens, just like you and me. They have a right to practice their religion just like you and me. They are not terrorists. Calling them terrorists is like saying all christians are like westboro baptist church. Surely you see the difference.
The question of how the mosque could be funded by so few people could be asked of the mult-million dollar campus of the World Outreach Church. The same unfounded theory that, based on its source(s) of funding, the mosque is a base for a terrorist group could be used to insinuate that the WOC is a base for Israels (Mossad).
First of all, I meant to say 200 muslim families, not individuals, so my mistake there. And yes, there were only 45 active paying members at the time of the mosques' construction.
I would agree with you that muslims have the right to practice their religion here, if not for the fact that islam instructs muslims to establish islamic theocracies. By its very nature, islam puts itself in direct conflict with the constitutional separation of church and state, so I do not see it as a "religion" but rather as a system of government shrouded in religious dogma.
If you disagree with me, then take a good look around the world and you will see that every nation with a majority muslim population is either an islamic theocracy or heavily influenced by islamic doctrine. These countries are plagued with female oppression, honor killings, and the murder of non-muslims. Also take a moment to look at the european countries with large muslim populations that are enforcing sharia law in direct opposition to the laws of those respective countries. Here's a good example:
If you think I'm just a mindless bigot, then I 'd like you to meet my ex-muslim friend who had to flee Iran to avoid being put to death for apostasy when Khomeini came into power, I also want you to meet my friend from nigeria
who's constantly worried about her families' safety because of numerous muslim-led killing sprees, last but not least I want to tell you about my friend who's overbearing muslim father drove him to suicide after years of religion-fueled abuse. This is the reality of islam in practice.
Last of all, writing me off as a propagandist and discrediting my sources (one of which is PBS article) without even addressing what I've said or providing any facts to counter my claims isn't much of an argument. Also I never claimed that all muslims are terrorists, but rather that islam is a breeding factory for such. Most muslims I'm sure just want to live out their lives in peace, but they are typically not the ones who rise to power within the religious leadership. That's a fact, and there's more reason to believe that the Murfreesboro mosque will be exploited by such leadership than not.
cmd51, it doesn't matter if muslims believe the sky is green and the grass is blue. That's not the point. The point is they have a right to practice their religion, period, same as you and me. I don't like the way they treat their women in other countries. I'm grateful to be here. What goes on in islamic countries has no bearing on your argument against a mosque in murfreesboro, tn.
I know many muslims. Many of my former co-worker are muslims and I witnessed first hand how AMERICANS treated them after 9/11. It was shameful and an embarassment to me as an american citizen to see them mistreated by strangers on the street.
What I know of my muslim friends is that they are hard workers and honest people. They raise their children with values and encourage good education. They are friendly adn loving.
LIke I said before, calling them all terrorists is like saying all christians are like westboro baptist church.
I understand and appreciate your stance on freedom of religion, but there is a difference between principles and reality. The war on terrorism is a war on radical islam, which is rooted in islamic religious doctrine. It is not the product of some faceless "evil", it is the product of islam, so of course it matters what muslims believe. If those beliefs were always protected by the constitution, then our government wouldn't be preemptively dropping bombs on muslims who have not yet attacked the U.S., radical or otherwise.
Also, what's happening in muslim countries, as well as parts of europe with large muslim populations, is not geographically limited to those parts of the world. It is connected to the religion itself, and it is also happening in the U.S. (see link), so of course it has a bearing on my opposition to the mosque here. I am not going to sit back and silently watch islam spread in my own backyard without at least speaking out against it.
As for personally knowing muslims, I knew a muslim family and they were very much like you or I, just regular everyday americans. I was good friends with them, celebrated the fourth of july with them, played in a band with one of them (the friend I mentioned in my last post who killed himself), and I spent the night at their house as well. Thankfully their father was never there when I was, because he later chased some of their friends out of the house with a bat because they were not muslim. The worst part is that they helped him do it! They actually turned on their own friends and chased them away.
Does that make sense to you? I find it very interesting that they turned that way, if no other reason than fear of their father. Still, I went to their house one last time after my friend died to bring them a platter of sandwiches and a tape of music he wrote. So don't think I can't see muslims as human beings, because I do and I am in no way advocating the mistreatment of individuals for any reason, but I am in opposition to the spread of islam & the best I can hope for is to make people abandon the religion.
I would agree with you about the westboro baptist church comparison if the problems with radical islam were limited to a single 60 member mosque, but there are entire nations ruled by oppressive islamic regimes, which makes it a weak comparison.
Also, again I did not say that all muslims are terrorists, which obviously isn't true, otherwise all hell would be breaking loose given the 1.6 billion muslims on earth. On the same note, I also don't believe that all the citizens of nazi germany were nazis, I'm sure the majority were very nice people, and some of them even helped jews escape the country. Regardless, being nice didn't stop this majority from supporting hitler, which led to the deaths of over 50 million people during WWII, at least 11 million of which were jews who died in the holocaust.
If you think it's a stretch for me to make a comparison between islam and nazism, have a listen to the anti-Semitic rhetoric of islamic leaders throughout the world. Now tell me why it is that people with anti-Semitic viewpoints keep rising to the upper echelons of religious and political power in the islamic world? Is it possible that islam is an anti-Semitic religion? Look into it for yourself and see what you find.
I get the feeling that you dismiss critics of islam and their criticisms due to not having actually investigated the religion to any substantial degree, perhaps because of the friends you've had. Rather than drawing your conclusions based on those people, take the time to study islamic doctrine itself. You will be surprised to find some very disturbing things that will likely change your perspective. Here is an example of such:
Last but not least, do not be so openminded about the freedom of religion that you become close minded to its criticism. Criticism of religion is what has historically freed humanity from religious oppression throughout history and islam should not be given an exception.
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Okay, so where's your criticism of christianity? I can't drive down the street without seeing a billboard of how god is gonna save me or punish me. I can't turn on the TV without some preacher telling me I'm going to hell. I can't relax on a saturday afternoon without a christian knocking on my door trying to convert me. Don't tell me the muslims are pushing their religion. I can't get away from the christians long enough to even notice.