Court battle over Murfreesboro mosque to resume Wednesday
The hearing which spanned three days last month will resume on Wednesday.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is under construction off Veals Road, southeast of Murfreesboro.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A hearing over a lawsuit to stop a controversial mosque from being built in Rutherford County will resume on Wednesday.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is slated to be built on a five-acre plot of land off Veals Road to the southwest of downtown Murfreesboro.
The Rutherford County Planning Commission approved the project earlier this year.
Whether they acted properly in doing so is at the heart of the court hearing, which spanned three days last month.
Joe Brandon represents a small group of citizens who brought the lawsuit against the county, but the issue has become a large one for Rutherford County, with protests for and against, and rhetoric that matches that in the courtroom.
"I said in my opening statement, I believe it's a bunch of cowards up there... stricken by fear and ignorance," Brandon said before Chancery Court Judge Robert Corlew last month.
Doug Demosi, Director of the Rutherford County Planning commission, has long defended how the mosque was initially approved for site development in May.
"We cannot discriminate or make any law that makes preference for one religious organization over another," Demosi said.
The hearing continues Wednesday with potentially another three days of witnesses scheduled to appear before Judge Corlew, who summed up the issue during testimony in September.
"It's a question as to whether the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission acted appropriately or responsibly or if in fact whether they acted arbitrarily, capriciously or illegally," he said.
Testimony is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and continue through Friday.