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Zoning dispute turns to fight over theology
by Bob Smietana
My God is better than your God.
That's the dispute at the heart of recent hearings in a lawsuit aimed at derailing the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. What started as a zoning issue has turned into a fight over theology and the role of government in recognizing religion.
Mosque opponents say that Islam is not a real religion. Instead, they argued in a Rutherford County courthouse last week that the world's second largest faith, with its 1.6 billion followers, is actually a political movement.
Opponents say local Muslims want to replace the Constitution with an Islamic legal code called Shariah law. Joe Brandon Jr., a Smyrna attorney representing a group of mosque opponents, argued that the proposed mosque is not a house of worship. He said the Rutherford County Planning Commission erred on May 24 when it approved the mosque.
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