Tenn. mosque long a focus of controversy to open

Building Codes Director David Jones in Rutherford County said Tuesday that he issued a temporary occupancy permit to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after inspectors approved the building.

FILE - In a Thursday, June 21, 2012 file photo, a worker walks out of the construction site of a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A new Tennessee mosque that had been the subject of a lawsuit, arson, vandalism and a bomb threat will open for prayers on Friday.

Building Codes Director David Jones in Rutherford County said Tuesday that he issued a temporary occupancy permit to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after inspectors approved the building.

Construction was nearly shut down after a judge in that Tennessee county ruled in May that the meeting at which mosque construction was approved was not sufficiently advertised to the public.

Last month, federal prosecutors stepped in to protect the religious liberty of mosque members. A federal judge ruled in their favor, allowing construction and permitting to move ahead.

The temporary permit runs until mid-October, allowing the contractors time to finish the landscaping and some other last tasks.


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