Becket Fund explains defense of TN mosque

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

A law firm dedicated to religious liberty is pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit from Tennessee residents who tried to shut down a new mega-mosque in Murfreesboro Tennessee. 

There had been a mosque in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee community for over 30 years, but in 2012 some residents of Rutherford County filed a lawsuit over concerns about how the proposed new 52,000-square-foot mega-mosque was going to be utilized.

Goodrich, Luke (The Becket Fund)A local chancery judge ruled in favor of the citizens but then the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a separate federal lawsuit in favor of the mosque. A federal judge supported the county's decision to approve the expansion project.

Luke Goodrich, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, says Becket's defense of the mosque was, in a way, a defense of all faiths. 

He tells OneNewsNow: "If we allow religion to be camped down solely because some people are hostile to the particular manifestation of religious beliefs, that threatens not only Muslims but it threatens the synagogue on Saturday and the church on Sunday."

An appeals court upheld the decision and both the Tennessee and U.S. Supreme Courts declined to review the case, putting an end to the attempt to shut down the mosque.       

Goodrich rejects the claims of mosque opponents who are concerned that the expanded mosque might be used to promote terrorism.  

"Those accusations of terrorism are completely ridiculous," he responds. "And there hasn't been one shred of evidence linking this mosque to terrorism in over 30 years of its existence."

Despite the Supreme Court's decision, opponents of the mosque have filed another lawsuit to attempt to block the congregation from building a cemetery behind the mosque. 

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