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The Other Mosque Battle
by Ryan Mauro
The Ground Zero mosque and Islamic center controversy is absorbing most of the media attention, but there's a battle brewing in Murfreesboro, T.N. over the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro's plans to build a new site to accommodate their growing congregation. Tensions are reaching a boiling point, with citizens protesting the project and pointing to signs that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) may promote a radical ideology.
The anger has reached the point where acts of arson and vandalism are being committed against the ICM, helping supporters of the project paint its opponents as seeking to strip the rights of Muslims to build mosques. This may be true of some, but the reality is that the imam of the ICM, Osama Bahloul, has not addressed the issues that are stoking the legitimate fears of the surrounding community. Imam Bahloul has not made a convincing case that he will be a voice combating radical Islam and the establishment of Shariah law.
One of the ICM's board members, Mosaad Rawash, was suspended after his MySpace page was exposed. On it, he promoted a pledge for Muslims to wage violent jihad against Israel and had a poem decrying how people he feels are resistance fighters in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq are being labeled as terrorists.
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