National media is reporting on a controversial plan to build a 52,000-sq. ft. Islamic facility in rural Tennessee. According to an ABC News report:
A plan to build an Islamic community center in the middle-Tennessee town of Murfreesboro sparked an eruption of ugly criticism on Thursday from some residents who don't want a mosque built in their backyard. More than 600 people turned out for a meeting of the Rutherford County Commission Thursday night, with some sharing their opposition in public comments that at times turned intolerant. "We have a duty to investigate anyone under the banner of Islam," Allen Jackson, the pastor of World Outreach Church, said at the meeting. Watch 'World News' for more on this story tonight on your ABC station. The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's plans call for a 52,000-sq. ft. facility that would include a pool, gym, and school in addition to a mosque. The center has had a facility in Murfreesboro since 1997, but says that with over 250 Islamic families in the community, it needs more space. "It is not a huge mosque as they are saying," said Imam Ossama Bahloul. "This place is too small for us and we have to move." Murfreesboro has a population of just over 100,000, according the the U.S. Census Bureau. It is about 30 miles southeast of Nashville. The plan was approved by the commission last month, but that hasn't dampened the outrage from some residents who said they had no idea it was even under consideration.
The website of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) says it " is not in any way associated or affiliated with any outside organization locally, nationally, internationally or any other way. However, the ICM reading list suggests, at the least, an ideological affiliation with the US Muslim Brotherhood and includes works by the following authors:
- Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (Global Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Harun Yahya (Turkish "creationist" known for ant-Semitic writings and heavilypromoted by the GMB)
- Ahmad Sakr (important figure in early history of the USMB)
- Jamal Badawi (USMB leader)
- Akbar Ahmed (Pakistani American close to USMB)
- Hassan Hathout (deceased leader of the Islamic Center of Southern Ca with likelybackground in the Egyptian MB)
- Ahmad Von Denffer (German Muslim Brotherhood)
- Taha Jabir (likely Taha Al-Alwani International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
- John Esposito (Georgetown academic and longtime USMB supporter)
It should be noted that the ICM book list also features "Silent No More", the work of ex-Congressman Paul Findley, a long-time harsh critic of Israel and a supporter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an important part of the US Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Findley appeared at a 2006 press conference at the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) headquarters in Saudia Arabia to support a CAIR initiative.
The ICM also has reported that is sponsored a January 2009 protest against the Israeli "war on Gaza."