Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Top Stories

Mosque Representative "Shocked" By Training

photo WMOT
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro breaks ground for the construction of their new Mosque on Veals Road in late September, 2011.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --  WMOT News has been telling you this week about a three day training seminar held at the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro. That training concluded Wednesday afternoon.

The seminar was conducted by Strategic Engagement Group, a company that believes the American people are under threat from a coordinated, global Muslim conspiracy involving all 56 of the world’s Islamic nations.

According to the Tennessean, officers from the Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and LaVergne police departments attended the seminar, along with deputies from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.

The training was sponsored by Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold. The Sheriff’s deputies are responsible for patrolling the Veals Road area where the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro Mosque is currently under construction.

During an interview with WMOT News Wednesday morning, Mosque spokesman Dr. Saleh Sbenaty was complimentary of the assistance his congregation has received from the Sheriff’s Office in the past, but said he was shocked to learn about this week’s training.

“If they take out of this training that Muslims are terrorists and Islam is a bad religion, the Islamic Center is a military camp and so on, then are we going to lose our protection? As American citizens, are we going to be subject to bullying and intimidation? This is totally unacceptable.”

Sbenaty said he hopes the State of Tennessee will do a better job of overseeing the training local law enforcement officers receive in the future.

He also noted that the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office has never invited anyone from his congregation to speak to deputies about the Islamic community in Rutherford County.

Sheriff Robert Arnold, World Outreach Church Senior Pastor Allen Jackson, and the Strategic Engagement Group all declined to speak to WMOT about the seminar for this report.