From World Faith Executive Director featured in The Huffington Post: The Tennessee Mosque and the Struggle for Religious Freedom
Murfreesboro, a small city you’d pass in a few minutes while taking Interstate-24 out of Nashville to Chattanooga, has never been a town of much interest to the rest of the country. Other than temporarily being Tennessee’s capital (1818-1826) and hosting the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Stones River in 1862, it has remained largely out of the limelight of American affairs.
But Murfreesboro made national attention recently when a local mosque announced a plan to build a new Islamic center to tend to the needs of it’s growing community. Despite being in the community for 30 years, the plan led to large protests, a 20,000-person petition to stop construction, vandalism and, most recently, an arson attack that has frightened the Muslim community throughout middle Tennessee. The rise of anti-Muslim sentiment has revealed itself through the region, with a mosque being rejected for a building permit in Brentwood, Tenn., and another suffering vandalism in Nashville.