(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Construction of a suburban Nashville, Tenn., mosque that was supposed to have been completed in 2010 has been halted and could be stopped for good after Chancellor Robert Corlew ruled Tuesday that the public wasn’t given the proper notice two years ago at a meeting to approve the site plan.
Technically, it means the Rutherford County Planning Commission could still approve the site near the city of Murfreesboro, but its chances of completion are diminished.
Saleh Sbenaty, a spokesman for the leadership of the mosque, says he plans to move forward with the mosque since it’s already partially constructed.
Tempers ran high with the announcement of a mosque being built in this conservative Tennessee community, with many opponents proclaiming that Islam is not a legitimate religion.
Two years ago, a fire was set at the site of the planned Islamic center and mosque and investigators looked into the possibility the blaze may have been deliberately set.
At the time, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Eric Kehn said, “Any type of activity like this we take very seriously and we look into. When things like this happen, we really need the help of the public.”
A sign promoting the new facility has also been vandalized twice. Members of the local Muslim community have expressed concerns they “no longer feel safe.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire