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Emotions Run High at Murf. Mosque Cemetery Court Hearing

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tempers flared Monday afternoon in Rutherford County at a court hearing concerning the approval of a cemetery for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

WMOT reporting partner MT10 says plaintiffs were in court to ask Chancellor Robert Corlew III to halt construction of the cemetery. The cemetery was approved by the county Board of Zoning Appeals in January.

Plaintiffs say the board failed to give sufficient notice for the meeting and should have required the mosque to provide additional supporting environmental and traffic impact studies.

During the hearing, an attorney for the mosque asked judge Corlew to recuse himself from the case, noting that his earlier rulings concerning the mosque’s construction had been overturned by higher courts. Corlew agreed to step aside.

“I do understand the position that you and your clients take, and certainly the court has the duty to avoid not only any impropriety, but even the appearance of partiality or impropriety and given those circumstances I’ll grant your motion.”

Outside the courtroom, plaintiffs and their supporters exchanged words with mosque supporters and the media.

After the hearing, the plaintiff’s attorney told reporters that his clients expect to have a chance to present their case to another judge soon.