Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's not Islamophobia, it's democracy

After 16 months of rallies and court hearings, construction will soon begin on a Tennessee mosque that sparked a fierce debate over religious beliefs.

Leaders of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro obtained a building permit Friday to start the first construction phase and released renderings of the new building.

Imam Ossama Bahloul, the religious leader of the congregation, told The Daily News Journal the mosque will be a place for everyone, even those who opposed its construction.

Earlier in the week, a Rutherford County judge ruled that the mosque construction does not harm the residents who sued the county over it. But the judge allowed them to move forward on claims the county violated an open meetings law in approving it.

Critics of the protesters called them Islamophobes and racists.

But, they were simply Americans exercising their right to protest, their freedom of speech, and their access to the courts.

Unlike in certain Muslim lands, the protesters killed no one, beat no one, raped no one and didn't burnt down one building.

In the end, after peaceful protest and dignified judicial procedures, the court ruled in favor of the construction of the mosque, after everyone spoke their piece and had their day in court.

What's wrong with that?

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