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Judge Corlew Mosque Ruling Questioned

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WMOT)  --  A national Islamic group says it’s alarmed by the reasoning cited by Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew in his decision to void the Murfreesboro Mosque’s construction permit.

The Washington D.C. based Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter this week to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for federal intervention in the case.

CAIR says that Judge Corlew repeatedly cited public interest in the case as a factor in his determination that the county did not provide sufficient public notice of the meeting where the Mosque's building permit was approved. CAIR staff attorney Gabeir Abbas says Corlew’s reasoning sets a dangerous precedent.

“It gives license to anti-Muslim activists to generate controversy, and then to push courts to apply a different standard of notice based on the controversy that they’re able to generate after the fact.”

Abbas notes that the Justice Department submitted a brief in support of the mosque during the original trial. He says that’s evidence that the federal government is interest in the case. 

Abbas sees federal involvement as crucial, concluding that Ruthe ford County clearly needs, in his words, “adult supervision.”

Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.