Tennessee Mosque Opponents: Islam is not a Religion

The construction of a community center and mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, has garnered more attention due to the extreme rhetoric and actions of the project’s opponents. The ARF and FBI are investigating an arson attack, a Republican congressional candidate dubbed it an “Islamic training center,” protesters said Muslims “are out to overthrow this government and this country” and another detractor shouted at a Muslim woman, “our constitution doesn’t apply to you.”

And now opponents are asking a judge to overrule the zoning board, claiming Muslims do not have the right to build houses of worship since Islam is not in fact a religion but a traitorous, anti-American political movement.

This radical argument echoes the statements of Tennessee’s Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, who said that “could even argue whether that being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult or whatever you want to call it.”

The Tennessean reports on the novel and radical arguments of the mosque’s opponents:

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.

Brandon wants Chancellor Robert Corlew of the 16th Judicial District to issue an injunction stopping the mosque.

“Shariah law is pure sedition,” said Brandon in his opening statement Monday.