Embattled Tennessee mosque to move forward with construction
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has faced intense local opposition over plans to construct a new mosque.
September 2nd, 2011
10:18 PM ET

Embattled Tennessee mosque to move forward with construction

By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

It has taken months, but leaders of an embattled Murfreesboro, Tennessee, mosque say that construction of a new facility could start as soon as next month.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has existed for more than a decade. As it surpassed 1,000 worshippers, its members planned to build a new 52,000-square-foot structure with a mosque, gym, playground and cemetery.

Backlash followed, including lawsuits and an August 2010 fire that destroyed construction equipment and damaged vehicles at the construction site for the mosque. Police said it was arson.

A sign announcing the mosque was spray-painted with the words "Not Welcome."

The Murfreesboro Muslim community's story was featured in the April documentary, "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door," which will air again at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN.

For months, mosque leaders searched for contractors willing and able to do the job. Because of the opposition and threats the project has provoked, the construction job has gotten more complicated. The work now requires more layers of security, including cameras.

Some contractors weren't willing to take the job. Mosque leaders said contractors told them it had become too much of a hot-button issue and presented too much of a risk to their business and equipment. Several contractors began the bidding process but never finished.

Mosque officials said a contractor told them that he needed the work but that the leaders of his own church were against the new Islamic center.

"I had a contractor tell me, 'I don't want to get on bad terms with my preacher,'" said Essam Fathy, a member of the Islamic Center's board of directors. "I told him, 'You need to be able to do what you believe inside, and tell your preacher what the problem is, and discuss it with him.'

"It hasn't gone as smooth as I thought it would go."

But mosque leaders said several contractors' bids are coming in, and they hope construction will begin next month, before the often rainy fall begins.

Leaders said they never anticipated a negative response to the construction of a new facility, or the national attention it would draw. The debate heats up with every legal motion or political statement, like when Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain said in August that communities should be able to prevent mosques from being built. Cain later apologized.

"We are exhausted. So much media attention, so many calls, so many e-mails," said Imam Ossama Bahloul. "We were all shocked that people were so aggressive to us. We were not anticipating any opposition. I do believe it's a small group of people with a very volatile voice."

This week, a Rutherford County judge affirmed his May decision that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has a right to build a larger facility.

In the opinion, Chancellor Robert Corlew said organizations must be treated equally under current land-use ordinances, but added that some of the county's land use laws are "in dire need of revision."

Corlew also wrote that the plaintiffs suing Rutherford County's planning commission can challenge whether the mosque's approval violated open meeting laws.

Joe Brandon Jr., an attorney for the plaintiffs, said they'll be filing paperwork early next week that will lead to a trial date.

"This fight is far from over," Brandon said. "We are confident that victory is certain."

But Fathy, who sits on the Islamic Center's planning commission, said the judge's affirmation was cause to celebrate. Mosque members learned of it during a feast to break the Ramadan fast.

Like most other years, they'd rented a large facility and invited Muslims and non-Muslims, but this was the biggest crowd it had ever drawn.

"Next year, we'll have this event," Fathy said he told the crowd, "and we'll have this in the new Islamic Center."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Mosque • Tennessee

soundoff (279 Responses)

    They had just told us that USA will get humble to Islam. Look at this. This happen in USA soil, in Colorado.


    September 6, 2011 at 4:39 am |

    Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah (Security Tax) willingly while they are humbled.

    1. Islam will not kill us except you pay Security Tax for your life.

    The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah ." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

    2. Allah only in Arabs? Only Arab Jews that think Ezra is the son of God.

    Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah ]. And he was not of the polytheists.

    3. So be it with Jesus and Christians.

    And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah . Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.

    4. Allah not live in Mecca so why you turn your prayer to that place.

    O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

    5. If so, why all Muslim immigrant are trying to migrant to west. You are disobey your own law, you must not be come and live among us. You have a plenty oil and water there with your camel. We have our dogs.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:11 am |
  3. brunokraiske

    Im a contractor, and at the beginning of this year we implemented a new Company Policy, and I think other contractors should do the same. We DO NOT WORK FOR NEO NAZIS, AND WE DO NOT WORK FOR MUSLIMS. Both of these ideologies are same. The only difference between neo-nazis and muslims is:THAT ALL NEO NAZIS ARE WHITE, AND ALL MUSLIMS ARE THE COLOR OF $ # ! T.

    September 6, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Angel

      I am sorry to hear you feel that way in referring to ALL of them as like Nazis.
      The Nazis were evil but that did not mean that all German people were.

      I believe the real Muslims in TN are being deceived by these new, radical board
      members who recently moved here.
      If they knew that this "new iman" purchased land that used to be a pig farm, they never would
      have helped fund such a thing.

      If they read the blog on the attorney's website in Murfreesboro, they now know the truth as do
      the many other people who left comments today., from all over the country and Canada.

      See for yourself, read what the truth is about the lawsuit, it has nothing to do with religion,
      it is a suit against the county officials concerning zoning laws and public notice that every
      citizen here has to abide by.

      The Iman wants to portray that they are the poor, persecuted religious organization that TN
      does not want around. NOT TRUE!

      If this is just an innocent mosque and place of worship, why did they not follow the law and go through the legal
      process rather than sneak it in behind closed doors and possibly enticing our county officials with money or other things of value.

      Read the info for yourself @ tennesseelawattorneys.com High Profile tab about the TRUTH, then read the Comments page.
      You may be surprised with the truth concerning the proposed mosque.

      BTW, there is still another court date to be set, this is far from over and they would be foolish
      to build because when the Plaintiffs prove the entire process was illegal, they will
      have to be re-approved or tear down anything they construct.

      I doubt the true Muslims will want the land now, they did not know it was a farm for raising and slaughtering pigs!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:00 am |
  4. SouthEast Asian

    In Indonesia:
    Church are not allowed to build (some cases).
    Church tower are not allowed to be more high than mosque minaret around it. (frequent cases).
    Church are not allowed to ring a bell (some cases).

    Television series are propagandized to show that Muslim peoples were good and peoples that don't wearing scarf is cruel and wicked.

    Television and News that showing terrorist activity and honor killing history were have it demonstration from radicals group.

    When Osamah bin Laden died, some group are praying for Osamah and they mark Osamah bin Laden as a hero martyr of Muslim and they pray on the public street for him. Govt didn't do anything for this.

    Some political party are send opinion to implement regional autonomy and then the new region will have a shariah system enabled.

    3000 immigrant from Afghanistan and Pakistan are put near Jakarta. This immigrant are trying go to Australia but some peoples want them in Indonesia. When there is a religion conflict in Poso, this immigrant was sent to fight Christians in Poso – Celebes.

    In Malaysia:
    Bible are prohibit from using word "allah" as God.
    Television series are propagandized to show that Muslim Melayu peoples were good and peoples that don't wearing scarf is cruel and wicked. The Chinese were homemaid and The india (Hindus) were coolie.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  5. brunokraiske

    Rachel.. ,first let me give you a little history lesson. This guy named Adolf Hitler started a NAZI party in Germany in 1930s, you can look i up on Wikipedia. my company's policy is DO NOT WORK FOR NEO NAZIS, AND DO NOT WORK FOR MUSLIMS. NEO NAZI party came to exist AFTER Hitlers death, and NEO NAZIS worship him more than christians worship Jesus. So you missed reading my policy or you're a moronic idiot to call me Hitler.And I would much rather starve, than contribute to building a 4th Reich or an islamic caliphate that will enslave me and my children or kill them eventually.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  6. HotAirAce

    So, are any atheists opposed to this, or any other, mosque?

    September 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • james

      Not at all, they should believe in what ever crap they want to. They bought the land legally and the plans were approved by the city. Why the hell not? Just bigotry here, plain and simple.

      September 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Agreed on all points! I don't think any atheists would be in favor of denying these folks, or any others, of their rights.

      So, once again we have one or more cults denying another cult their rights.

      September 5, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Angel

      It's not bigotry James, it's the state law and the Zoning process and Public Notice were bypassed for what reason?
      If it's just an innocent place of worship, why didn't the County officials follow the law....could money have been a motivating factor?

      September 6, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • HotAirAce


      I suggest that lawsuits are perfectly OK even though I suspect the plaintiffs motives may not be pure, but that destruction of property is about intimidation and bigotry.

      Would the good people of Tennessee be upset that process and zoning laws may have been violated if a christian church was going to be built?

      September 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      So nearly two full days have passed and not a single atheist has indicated they are against the building of this mosque!

      So now I must ask: who is more tolerant of religion and supportive of everyone's right to believe whatever they like – atheists or theists?

      September 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
  7. brunokraiske

    Rachel you're such a moronic idiot. You completely missed the point.

    September 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
    • Rachel Campbell

      I am pretty sure you are missing the point. If you don't want to work for them, that is your choice. But you are a racist. My husband and I both are subcontractors. If the choice is provide for our family by working with Muslims (who, by the way, have the ABSOLUTE RIGHT to build their place of worship as American citizens) and providing for my kids, or having to explain to my kids why we are homeless and hungry, then guess what??? I pick taking care of my family. Not every Muslim is looking for a way to kill Americans.

      So if y9ou don't want to be consider Hitler like, then quit perpetuating racist agendas.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
    • Angel

      You have a right to your opinion but do you have to call people names?
      Be nice and express your views, not anger and hatred, that's not cool at all.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:08 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Calling people names rather than rationally conversing about your differing opinions does nothing to promote your side of the argument, and in fact makes you appear to have a deficient argument all together.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  8. brunokraiske

    Im a contractor, and at the beginning of this year we implemented a new Company Policy, and I think other contractors should do the same. We DO NOT WORK FOR NEO NAZIS, AND WE DO NOT WORK FOR MUSLIMS. Both of these ideologies are same. The only difference between neo-nazis and muslims is:THAT ALL NEO NAZIS ARE WHITE, AND ALL MUSLIMS ARE THE COLOR OF $ # ! T

    September 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Rachel Campbell

      Hi Hitler. And here I thought you had chosen the cowards way out. Good to know you are alive and well.

      September 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  9. jake

    this is tennessee , noT nyc! it will be difficult to find contractors and workers to do the work. any work that is done will soon be destroyed. muslims are NOT WELCOME IN TENEESSEE. in saudi arabia, it is against the law to bring a bible into their country. people have gone to prison for doing that. and if you are EVEN ACCUSED of trying to convert muslims, your sentence is DEATH! we don't want murfreesboro or any part of tennessee attracting large numbers of muslims because it always causes trouble. call us redneck, ignorant, whatever. but we will never be accused of being P.C.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Peeje

      There are already a large number of Muslims living in this part of Tennessee, who are currently worshipping at various makeshift mosques that are not large enough, etc. This mosque & complex with includes a school, etc., is no different than if a bunch of different baptist congregations worshipping in tiny little overcrowed churches & each others homes wanted to come together to build a big megachurch complex & school. The only difference is that the religion at issue is Muslim instead of Christian, and that is obviously the crux of the objection. I am a Christian, yet rarely have I been so outraged as I am by the growing anti-Muslim sentiment in this country. What we have to fear is the people behind that sentiment, who wish to demonize people of another faith. It is absurd that people are saying Islam is not a religion – they worship a God, they pray daily (more than many Christians I know), they try to live as they believe God wants them to live, they worship together in a place that they call a Mosque – it is the same as a Church is to a Christian, or a Temple is to a Jew. Someone else called Islam a "political system with a religious" aspect because there are people who are Muslims or call themselves Muslims who have a political agenda, but this is ridiculous, it's no different than saying the same about Christianity because their are Christians with a political agenda. Judging every person in a religion based on what some particular person or people in that religion have said or done does not make sense.

      September 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Angel

      Peeje, there is a difference, they did not get approval legally. the county officials did not follow procedure or the laws of our state to rush the Iman's request through. Why? If they have nothing to hide, why was it passed in secret without giving Public Notice and going through the Zoning process like everyone else?

      tennesseelawattorneys.com/tennessee-mosque.html had the truth about the lawsuit, check it out.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:21 am |
  10. Mo Veevak

    It is said the word islam means peace.
    I like to have one example where islam went into a country and peace then prevailed
    Islamic invasion of India..bloodshead and seperation into 2 countries (India and Pakistan), Cyprus Chachania
    etc etc.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Angel

      From what I have researched, a year after Muhammad died the caliph decided to change and compile his writings into a NEW version, and that became the quran as it is known today. It has no order as far as structure and content and I don't believe that is what Muhammad intended. But the corrupt leaders after his death used it as a tool to control the people. If I am wrong, please correct me, I only seek the truth.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:26 am |
  11. John


    September 5, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • .....

      Garbage ALERT – junk video, click the report abuse link this person is a TROLL

      September 6, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  12. Reality

    From p. 2:

    Geting to the "nitty-gritty":

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no female or male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

    September 5, 2011 at 8:44 am |
    • mullah hajdar

      you can kiss our butts

      September 5, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • HS

      Reality, Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon after his ego went into obsession mode over the contents of the Book Catcher in the Rye.


      September 5, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Reality

      Only for the those interested in a religious update:

      1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      “New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “

      2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

      The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.


      For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".

      Current RCC problems:

      Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

      3., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      5. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."

      The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."

      Current crises:

      The caste system and cow worship/reverence.

      6. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."

      "However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"

      Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.

      Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.

      Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!

      September 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Peeje

      You are actually saying that the only way Muslims can win your trust is if the gut their own holy book, removing those passages that don't meet with your approval? If you are a Christian, how would you like it if a Jew, Atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or anyone else with a different belief, told you that you could build your church as long as you were first willing to remove annoying biblical references to Jesus's divine nature, his rising after death, his teachings, etc.

      September 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
    • Peeje

      The Koran did not instigate the attacks on 9/11 – people did that, twisted people with a twisted interpretation of the Koran. If Osama bin Laden was a twisted, evil man who had been raised Christian, he would have used the Bible as his excuse for violence, and if you don't think he could have found something in there to misinterpret & twist to his own meaning, you haven't read it.

      September 5, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Keith

      Peeje, Do you think that if these devout muslims remain muslim, that they will go to heaven?

      September 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
    • Reality

      Conservative Jews in the USA have rewritten/gutted the Torah to reflect the myths therein basically making it a docu-ment of peace.

      Thomas Jefferson did an analogous rewrite/"gut job" of the NT. Ditto for the rewrite/gutting of the NT by the Jesus Seminarians, Professor JD Crossan in his over 20 books on the historical Jesus and related subjects and Professor Gerd Ludeman in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 694-695.

      " Thomas Jefferson omitted/gutted it (Revelation) along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he considered it (Revelation) as "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

      ^ Bergh: Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 16
      and Wikipedia

      Wikipedia's articles actually appear to very well researched and written. Check the references given in each article to verify the veracity of the information.

      Added checking can be done by reviewing the same topic posted on on-line encyclopedias, with many of these being free to all those with library cards. Go to your local library's website and look for reference sites like the Power Library.

      And there is always Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines to get up to date information on current events which are also reviewed in many Wikipedia articles.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  13. a christian

    Yes I'm a Christian and proud of it. No I don't want the Muslims to be burned at the stake or put in gas chambers. However, I am a bit fearful of why that want to come to America and built a mosque. The reasons I'm fearful is because of what it says in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and in Revelations about the Muslims fighting against Isreal Christians. That's my believe and as with the Muslims, I should be free to say that I'm fearful. However because I am a Christians, I'm ridicule from others to state my opinions. However the Muslims are allowed to come to the United States and do what ever they want. But as a Chrisitan I can't. It seems to me something is wrong with that!!!

    September 5, 2011 at 8:30 am |
    • Peeje

      Why do Muslims want to come to this country & build a mosque? For the same reason that you, as a Christian, if you moved to another country where there were no churches, would want to build a church so you could attend & worship their with others of your faith. And as far are you being free to say you are fearful, you ARE free to say it, you have just said it here. Being free to say something only means that you have the freedom to state your beliefs & opinions without being arrested or punished, not that you are protected from the reaction of others to that opinion once you have stated it. I don't understand why you say Muslims can come here & do what they want & that you, as a Christian, can't. Muslims can worship as they wish, so can you. You can build a church, Muslims should be able to build a mosque. You can state your opposition to the mosque, others can disagree with your disagreement.

      September 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You do realize that there have been Muslims in this country for decades, probably centuries?

      That they are born here, raised here.

      They are American born citizens, born to the freedom promised them in the const-it-tuion?

      September 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm |

    Cited from http://quran.com/2/194/
    So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.

    Cited from http://www.allonlinebible.com/Matthew/5.html#044
    But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

    Big growing kids know the difference!

    September 5, 2011 at 8:15 am |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Unfortunately, we also hear that god himself does not take his own advise ...didn't he send down a couple of bears to rip up a 42 kids because they laughed at a bold head? the truth is both books are violent.

      September 5, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • herbert juarez

      @evolved dna
      Someone has missed the entire purpose of the bears and Elisha telling.

      September 5, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  15. MO

    This is for the young girl who defended Islam she is very brave and she must read the following verses
    Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females of the deceased has left, and if there is one, she shall have the half; and as for his parents, each of them shall have the sixth of what he has left if he has a child, but if he has no child and [only] his two parents inherit him, then his mother shall have the third; but if he has brothers, then his mother shall have the sixth after [the payment of] a bequest he may have bequeathed or a debt; your parents and your children, you know not which of them. Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and [as to] those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
    And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four [witnesses] from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.24. And all married women except those whom your right hands possess [this is] Allah's ordinance to you, and lawful for you are [all women] besides those, provided that you seek [them] with your property, taking [them] in marriage not committing fornication. Then as to those whom you profit by, give them their dowries as appointed; and there is no blame on you about what you mutually agree after what is appointed; surely Allah is Knowing, Wise

    September 5, 2011 at 5:03 am |
    • Erin

      Peeji thank-U, your the best!!!, Sorry for you Dan that you wasted ur time writting surahs that r wrong and proving hatred from ur own words, Jake- your satistics are wrong,,, but I can speak & understand arabic, Thanks for your concern!! Mr.Know it all! and as for mr. templer guy stop harrassing me! Im not converting to Christianity... 🙂 and the rest of you lost souls,,,sorry ur blind and full of hate,,,,,Im truley sorry for you!

      September 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  16. robert

    my fervent hope as an " infidel" is that the people of murfreesboro will boycott any and all contractors on that project. the people of new york should have stopped the mosgue being built there. how can muslims be trusted anymore? call me bigot, hater or whatever. this is how i feel.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:38 am |
    • Erin

      Yeah Robert,,, the KKK felt the same way about the non-whites! Sorry for you

      September 5, 2011 at 12:47 am |
    • jake

      b.s. erin, what would happen if christians or jews wanted to build a church or synaqaque in mecca or almost anywhere in saudi arabia? muslims are the biggest bigots in the world; so don't call anyone a bigot unless you are referring to yourself or your false religion.

      September 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Peeje

      I don't understand how you can say "how can Muslims be trusted anymore" – You judge a group that numbers in the billions on the actions of a few among them? If this is the way you make your decisions about who to trust, then you out to be saying "How can anyone be trusted". Every religion, every political party, every group of any kind, has people or factions within it who have done terrible things, who are evil, who wish harm to others, even carry it out. In the past, many members of the KKK, who burned churches, terrorized innocent black people & their children, and even sanctioned murder, were Southern Christians. Does this mean that never again should anyone trust a Southerner, or a Christian? Do we mistrust all Catholics because some priests have been pedophiles?

      September 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • dieshard

      I AM proud yo be ANTI MUZZLUMMS take your damn religion of hate and get the flock out of MY U.S.A. Muslims should be BANNED from coming to to my U.S.A.. They stink, lie, cheat and steal anything not tied down. Any musslumms that are here should be rounded up and put in camps . Look whats happening in France and England!!!! They are imposing their "phony laws" on other people who were born there !! SEND ALL MUZZIES TO Africa its where they came from. Call me a bigot>>>>AND PROUD TO BE ANTI>MUZZSLUM!!!!!! I HATE MUZZSLUMS!!!!!

      September 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Peeje

      @ Dieshard – Muslims have no power to impose any laws in France or England unless those laws were passed in that country. They can't do so in the US either. To say that ANYONE should be rounded up & put in a camp, that is one of the most hate filled thing I have heard anyone say, and you said it, not a Muslim. What is happening in England & France seems to me to be a problem of non-Muslims reacting just as you are, to people who look differently and live differently than themselves. The violence that is happening in Europe is caused by the hatred of Muslims, not by the Muslims themselves. And, in that same sense, my fear of more of people like you than of Muslims. No, I certainly would not want anyone living next door to me who supported Al Quaeda, but given my choice between someone like yourself, spewing rage & hatred as you just did, or someone such as the obviously quiet, peaceful, law-abiding & devout man of God, the Imam from the 60 Minutes piece, there is no contest as to which one I'd rather have as my neighbor (clue – not you)

      September 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Erin

      Jake,, you obviously have never traveled to places like syria, lebanon, egypt,,, christians and muslims live together....sorry your bitter too!

      September 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  17. Erin

    I want to congratulate my muslim brothers and sisters whom are building this amazing mosque in Murfreesboro, TN,, I watched this story tonight on CNN news. I myself am a converted muslim. I was an Evangelist, never knew what a muslim was, not even after 9/11. Until I met some friends of mine, whom were muslim and asked them about there family, culture and religion. I then decided to pick up some literature on islam and educated myself. I am happy that I converted, and every time I see negative postings about my religion it makes me grateful that I'm not blinded anymore. I know the meaning of ISLAM. I'm proud to be an American MUSLIM. Remember too, that American-Muslim civilians died on 9/11 that were killed by the terrorists. Some of the first responders were muslims helping and aiding the attacked on that very day. We all need to realize that more people of America converted after 9/11 in astonishing numbers, because they didn't want to be nieve and they wanted to understand Islam is Peace. Please don't get this confused by the 9/11 attack.. We want to worship freely as Americans just like anyone else....so stop the hate and celebrate! If you don't know anything about islam i advise you go to a mosque or to a library pick up a book and read, educate yourselves, ask questions be ready for what may wake you up! As for my islamic brothers and sisters,,,,, I pray, be strong and continue building or places of worship.....America u r beautiful!!!!!

    September 5, 2011 at 12:30 am |

      One of comments dictated http//quran.com/5/51/ about how Muslim be not friendship with Jews and Christians. Quran word must everlasting word, that's why we asking Muslim about this? Why there is persecution among Non Muslim on Muslim countries.


      Erin, I was habib, my family are descendant from Saudi kingdom families. My name written in Saudi kingdom book of family. I was radical movement leader in one of Muslim majority country. I have special privillage to go inside Zamzam water in Mecca.

      Erin, learn again about Islam, read about the prophets mohammed. You can start from http//www.faithfreedom.org/

      Thank you Erin, Jesus love you and want you back!

      September 5, 2011 at 5:33 am |
    • jake

      SORRY ERIN BUT GOOD TRY! your post sounds like propaghanda for islam. yea, try to get people to a mosque so that they can be converted. the truth about islam is that 90% of muslims outside of saudi arabia can not read arabic and don't understand what islam is truly about. these so called qurans that are translated to other languages are false teachings. they don't tell of many of the preachings of hatred and intolerance for infidels. muslims and non muslims should also read sharia law written in ababic. only then will you really know what you are dealing with.

      September 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
    • dan

      KORAN commands and remember the later Medina verses trump the earlier Mecca verses, for anyone trying to mislead kaffurs/infidels.

      Islam is NOT a religion, it is a political system with a religious aspect.

      Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98

      On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161

      Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

      Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God's entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

      Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
      (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

      ..... martyrs.... Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

      If you should die or be killed in the cause of Allah, His mercy and forgiveness would surely be better than all they riches they amass. If you should die or be killed, before Him you shall all be gathered. – 3:157-8

      You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead. They are alive, and well-provided for by their Lord. – Surah 3:169-71

      Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of God, whether he is slain or victorious, soon we shall give him a great reward. – Surah 4:74

      Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. – 4:76

      But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

      Therefore, we stirred among them enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will declare to them all that they have done. – 5:14

      O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

      Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme – 8:39

      O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

      It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

      Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

      When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

      Believers! Know that idolators are unclean. – 9:28

      Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

      Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. – 9:41

      O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end. – 9:73

      Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed. – 9:111

      Fight unbelievers who are near to you. 9:123 (different translation:
      Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you. (another source: ) Ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers....

      As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them. – 10:4-15

      Allah has cursed the unbelievers and proposed for them a blazing hell. – 33:60

      Unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell. – 41:14

      When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – 47:4
      (different translation: ) When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

      Those who are slain in the way of Allah – he will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will he guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden, which he has announced for them. – 47:5

      Muslims are harsh against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. – 48:25

      Muhammad is Allah's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. Through them, Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers. – 48:29

      Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate. – 66:9

      The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. – 98:51

      Fight them so that Allah may punish them at your hands, and put them to shame. (verse cited in Newsweek 2/11/02)


      KORAN promises of houris in heaven:

      Single-minded slaves of Allah... will be honored in the Gardens of delight, on couches facing one another; A cup from a gushing spring is brought round for them, white, delicious to the drinkers, wherein there is no headache nor are they made mad thereby. And with them are those of modest gaze, with lovely eyes, pure as they were hidden eggs. – Surah 37:40-49

      Lo, for those who ward off evil is a happy journey's end, Gardens of Eden, whereof the gates are opened for the, wherein, reclining, they call for plenteous fruit and cool drink therein. And with them are those of modest gaze, companions. This it is that ye are promised for the Day of Reckoning. – 38:50-54

      Lo! Those who kept their duty will be in a place secure, amid gardens and water-springs, attired in silk and silk embroidery, facing one another.... And we shall wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes. They call therein for every fruit in safety. They taste not death therein, save the first death. And He hath saved them from the doom of hell, a bounty from thy Lord. That is the supreme triumph. – 44:51-57

      Lo! Those who kept their duty dwell in gardens and delight... reclining on ranged couches. And we wed them unto fair ones with wide, lovely eyes... and we provide them with fruit and meat such as they desire.... – 52:17-22

      ...Reclining upon couches lined with silk brocade, the fruit of both the gardens near to hand.... Therein are those of modest gaze, whom neither man nor jinni will have touched before them.... – 55:54-56

      Those are they who will be brought nigh, in gardens of delight... reclining therein face to face. There wait on them immortal youths... and fair ones with wide, lovely eyes, like unto hidden pearls, reward for what they used to do.... Lo! We have created them a creation, and made them virgins, lovers, friends. – 56:11-37
      (Different translation) Companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes... virgin-pure and undefiled.


      Koran "sharia" punishments:

      As for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah. – Surah 5:38

      September 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • dieshard

      GUESS WHAT erin leave and leave fast before my anti muzzzslumm sentiments kick your assz and sodomize your women take your religion and die WE Christians shall kick your azzes to hell. izzslum SUCKS!!!!!!!!

      September 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • dieshard

      AND I will be very very happy to burn that hellhole you built to the ground !!!! WE the people DONT WANT YOUR building built here GO back to sucks arubya and build there. NOT IN MY TOWN YOU DONT!!!!!!!

      September 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • Peeje

      Erin, you are awesome, God bless you, this country needs more people like you with an open mind & a loving heart.

      @ ChristTemplar, can't believe you are saying she can learn more about Islam by reading some internet blog than by reading the Koran. If you are Christian, as I assume from your screen name, how would you like it if someone told you to read an atheist blog or some Internet website to find out the "real" story about Christianity, instead of reading the Bible.

      September 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Erin

      @ dieshard, You don't scare me u coward,,,,hate to say this... hope you don't live up to ur name!

      September 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  18. Mike D.

    Soledad, love your work, but bad interviewing...how could you not ask that large African-American man who opposed the project about the relevance of racism in the South? It was the elephant in the room. Not sure how he would have answered, but the question needed to be asked.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:21 am |
  19. Jenn123

    To have Soledad OBrien say that there is no practice of oppression or abuse of women as practiced by many Islamic people as dictated by Sharia Law in the US as part of their belief is ignorant. Perhaps Mrs. O Brien should visit the battered women's shelter where I work and see first hand the abuse many of these women have suffered in the name of Islam. And, YES its in the USA.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:12 am |
    • Erin

      jen123 sorry to say that it does, happen I dont doubt that but I'll tell you this that I'm sure your shelter isn't just full of muslim woman. I'm sure there is christians, jew, hinds, athesits, etc. Not to mention most are alcoholics and drug addicts but I wouldn't doubt that some woman lie that are americans too. I'm not saying that all women that come to ur shelter are lying but some knw they"ll get aid but not all are muslims....so don't throw my religion under the bus. I'm sure not every case is the same. My husband has never laid a hand on me... remember to it is cultural thing from what these men have learned not religious.So my point is the koran doesnt say beat ur wife.....Thank-u ! I hoped you learned something!
      OH,,,, one more thing in the sharia law it says, translated from arabic that when it comes to the marriage and household,,,it is equal between the man and woman... so Jenn123 don't think you know what your taking about!

      Please read a koran before you post

      September 5, 2011 at 12:44 am |
    • AGuest9

      @Erin – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists (please learn to spell) aren't taught that that behavior is acceptable. Muslims are. Go read your Qur'an.

      September 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Peeje

      "Abuse that women have suffered in the name of Islam" – There are many instances of parents have abusing their children "in the name of" their own particular Christian faith, and husbands who have abused their wives with similar excuses. It is always nonsense, the abuse is always about power, religion, no matter which one, is nothing but an attempt to justify their actions. Such behavior indicts the person who commits the offense, not the religion which they claim justifies or requires it.

      September 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Erin

      @ guest 9- Feel better? You don't know what your talking about! So shutty

      September 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Erin

      Thank-u Peeje, sounds like we're the only descent ppl in this posting!

      September 5, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Jenn123

      @ Erin. Really there is no need to be mean about this whole thing. First, I am not saying that it does not happen in all other cultures. It happens everywhere! I am simply repeating what I am told by survivors and see first hand. And, yes the shelter where I work at primarily caters to Asian women and children. And it is supported by wonderful men and women of ALL religions including Muslims who do NOT practice Sharia Law as others do. I am not throwing your religion under the bus as you stated. I simply asserting that Mrs. O' Brien's comment that such behavior does not exist in the US is wrong. Finally, the women at the shelter are NOT drug addicts. They are good honest women who were brought to the US under the wrong precepts, married the wrong person or come from families where Sharia Law is interpreted differently. As you do not like to be stereotyped, do not stereotype domestic violence victims.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • nada33

      @ jenn123,,, U did state in ur first paragraph " women have suffered in the name of islam" sooo, you are throwing the whole religion under the bus! Then you contradict urself in the next paragraph, it is learned from the culture not religion.... and jen how do you expect her not to be mean?,, have you seen these remarks on this page against usl? Sounds like there are more abusive ppl on this sound off then there are anywhere else in the world. Sounds like all muslims should come to your shelters. She was saying that there is different groups of women entering these shelters but don't make it sound like there only muslims suffering from islam...."Don't add fuel to the fire"

      September 6, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  20. tlcox

    you know, this story just reminds me of the battles that were fought over the lds temple in nashville over 10 years ago. property was purchased with the community leadership knowing what the intent was for it and the church was told that zoning would be approved. the community fought it and fought it. another parcel was purchased for the purpose and was zoned for church use. the community fought it saying that a temple wasn't a church. they claimed that satanic rituals were going to be performed there. finally a property that was already owned and had an existing lds church on it was used and the temple size was down-scaled to accommodate the community. the people that fought against the building of the temple were invited to an open-house and openly apologized for their actions. the lds church have been rallied against, especially in the south since it was reorganized. people have been murdered over the religion. people fear what they don't understand. if they (mainstream christianity) would just open their hearts and minds and just remember WHY the pilgrams came to america, they would do a lot better job of convincing me that they were REALLY christians!

    September 4, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.