Muslims in a Tennessee congregation prepared today for the holy month of Ramadan a day after a federal judge ruled they have a right to occupy their newly built mosque, overruling a county judge's order that was keeping them out. The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County yesterday and asked US District Judge Todd Campbell for an emergency order to let worshippers into the building before Ramadan starts at sundown today. Federal prosecutors also filed a similar lawsuit.
The future of the controversial mosque had been in question since May, when a local judge overturned the county's approval of the mosque construction. This month, he ordered the county not to issue an occupancy permit for the 12,000-square-foot building. Campbell ordered the county to move ahead on approving the mosque for use, although it wasn't immediately clear if that could happen by today, since final inspection of the building is required.