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Plans to Build Massive Islamic Centers Raise Concerns in Tennessee
by Diane Macedo
At the end of the first Iraq war, the United States designated Nashville, Tenn., to be a "gateway city" for refugees fleeing their war-torn country, setting the stage for what has become, less than 20 years later, a rapidly growing Muslim population in the Volunteer State.
As the Muslim population grows and their communities spread throughout the state, religious leaders say their places of worship must do the same, spurring the construction of mosques and the massive Islamic centers that host them in several Tennessee cities, including Murfreesboro, Memphis and Antioch.
But the physical size of these Islamic centers – and the associations and writings of some of the leaders behind them – are raising some concerns nationwide.
Since the U.S. Census Bureau doesn't ask about religious affiliation, it's unknown exactly how many members of any faith live in America or in any specific state -- so placing the number of Muslims currently living in Tennessee can only be based on best estimates.
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