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A pro-Murfreesboro Mosque filmmaker does a radical about-face
Imagine if Michael Moore, in the midst of making Fahrenheit 9/11, had suddenly decided he'd made a mistake, and President George W. Bush wasn't such a bad leader after all. That's something of the situation involving a filmmaker who started out directing a documentary in support of the so-called "Murfreesboro Mosque," but has now converted into one of its most ardent opponents.
On Sept. 27, 2010, documentarian Eric Allen Bell and his film crew packed into the Judicial Building, a blocky five-story edifice on Murfreesboro's courthouse square. They joined reporters and news crews camped out in Rutherford County Chancery Court, where the unfolding spectacle called to mind the media circus that surrounded the Scopes Monkey Trial a century earlier.
The occasion was a hearing in the then-ongoing lawsuit surrounding construction of the 53,000-square-foot Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which had already suffered an arson attempt. Six plaintiffs were alleging that the Rutherford County Planning Commission did not sufficiently notify residents about public hearings on the issue, which were held prior to the center's greenlighting by the county on May 24, 2010. Furthermore, they charged the center would seek to impose Islamic Shariah law on the city, and that Islam is not a religion.
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