NASHVILLE — A Tennessee Court of Appeals judge Tuesday asked why his court should decide if a Murfreesboro mosque was legally built when a federal court ordered Rutherford County to issue the certificate of occupancy.
“The building is built, and the people there have been using it for awhile,” Judge Andy D. Bennett said during a hearing at the Tennessee Supreme Court Building that’s across the street from the Capitol.
The judge also questioned why plaintiffs seek to stop a new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro mosque that opened last August on Veals Road off Bradyville Pike, southeast of the nearby city limits.
“It’s there,” said Bennett, who was part of a three-judge panel hearing oral arguments from attorneys about an appeal of a Chancery Court ruling on public notice. “It’s operating. Isn’t this moot?”
So two of the three judges don’t care about the law? It’s built so deal with it?
The plaintiffs’ attorney Joe Brandon of Murfreesboro, though, contends that the Rutherford County Regional Planning Commission failed to provide adequate public notice before approving the mosque on May 24, 2010.
“The rights of the people have to override the government,” Brandon said. “This case is about notice, adequate public notice based upon the totality of the circumstances.”
Planning commissioners voted last June to appeal Rutherford County Chancellor Robert Corlew III’s ruling that voided their mosque approval based on the local government failing to provide adequate public notice about the meeting in question.
The Islamic Center sued the county in federal court in response to Corlew deciding the county couldn’t issue a certificate of occupancy until the local government put the issue back on a future meeting agenda, gave proper notice and reconsider the site plans without discriminating against the ICM’s religious land-use rights.
Federal courts still can supersede anything Chancellor Corlew or a Tennessee appeals court does, Judge Bennett said.
Brandon countered that the federal court had no business in this case to “bulldoze over the top of the people.”
…the free publication only had 183 papers distributed in rural areas with 81,000 people, “which is less than one quarter of one percent.”
A local resident asked a pertinent question in an Op Ed piece, Does mosque support Islamic or American justice?
Chancellor Robert Corlew ruled the building permit issued by Rutherford County (Regional) Planning Commission illegal. Proper notice was not given by county commission to the public of the meeting to vote on said permit. Tennessee law was ignored by commission and county mayor. ICM was built without legal permit and an occupancy permit denied by a court of law. ICM cries discrimination against Islam and Muslim religion and sues Rutherford County. Feds align with Islamics and rule local law null and void. ICM calls this a victory and ignores local justice system. The same system ICM board member Sbenaty said “we always believe in our justice system.” Does he speak of Islamic or American justice?