Proposed Antioch mosque met with opposition - WKRN News 2

Proposed Antioch mosque met with opposition

Picture of proposed mosque for Antioch Picture of proposed mosque for Antioch
The mosque could move into the vacant theater near Hickory Hollow Mall. The mosque could move into the vacant theater near Hickory Hollow Mall.

ANTIOCH, Tenn. – A third Islamic center is looking to move to middle Tennessee, and again, plans are met with opposition from future neighbors.

A new mosque could move into the vacant Carmike Theater on Bell Forge Lane in Antioch, but there's a petition led by school board member Karen Johnson to stop it.

Gary Middleton, who lives in Antioch, said, "It's another example of more terrorist coming close to home, and we don't need that… It's just another mosque, training kids to be terrorists."

Opponents of the mosque have launched an online petition.

Chris Cunningham said, "I don't want to be racist against Muslims or anything. I just think right now with all the problems out here in Hickory Hollow… maybe a mosque needs to find another location."

This is the third time middle Tennessee residents have opposed a Muslim mosque this year.

In Williamson County, the Islamic Center withdrew their proposal after public opposition earlier this year.

In Murfreesboro, plans for a new mosque that were approved in May have been scaled back.

The Daily News Journal reports it pulled its application for a conditional use permit, which would have established a cemetery on its property.

The Rutherford County planning commission says the center can re-apply for the permit in the future.

Some Antioch residents don't mind Muslims worshiping where they once watched movies.

Darrick Ransom said, "The have their religious freedom just like everyone else."

Ryan Lee said, "I don't have a problem with it. I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't disapprove anybody's religion."

On their Web site, Islamic Center of Tennessee expresses the need for a new center.

The Muslim population in middle Tennessee has tripled over the past twelve years.

Current mosques are full during Friday prayer, and they especially need a place big enough to hold youth events.

The Carmike Theatre will accommodate the Islamic center's plans for expansion and they are set to close on the property in early August.

The Islamic Center of Tennessee has already raised a little more than a $1 million.

Their goal is $1.5 million, which is the purchase price of the building.

The Islamic Center will be holding a fundraiser at the location on July 11 at 9 a.m.

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