More plaintiffs join Tenn. mosque suit

April 14, 2011 at 5:25 PM
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MURFREESBORO, Tenn., April 14 (UPI) -- Fourteen people who live near the site of a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., have joined a lawsuit trying to halt the project.

There are now 17 plaintiffs who have sued the Rutherford County commissioners, Gannett Tennessee reported. They argue the commissioners should not have approved plans for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

County Chancellor Robert Corlew III ruled Wednesday it would be more efficient to deal with one lawsuit. He said he would make a decision soon on a county motion to dismiss the legal action.

The lawsuit charges the commissioners violated the Open Public Meetings law.

Jeremy Cothern, a county lawyer, called the plaintiffs' legal case "hollow and hateful," suggesting their main motive is anti-Muslim sentiment.

Joe Brandon Jr., the plaintiffs' lawyer, said they do not like Islamic law but have no problem with Muslims.

"These plaintiffs do not hate Muslims," said Brandon. "The eyes of the entire country are on this court today."

The mosque site is outside the Murfreesboro city limits next door to a new Baptist church.

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