Texas Resident Indicted For Threatening to Blow Up Tennessee Mosque
A Texas resident has been indicted on federal charges of threatening to bomb a mosque in Tennessee days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
The Murfreesboro mosque has attracted national attention after a campaign by anti-Muslim activists to stop the construction of a new place of worship for the Muslim community. Construction is done on the new center, but a court battle over the project is ongoing.
Yesterday, the Justice Department announced that they would be charging 24-year-old Javier Alan Correa with “obstructing by threat of force the free exercise of religious beliefs” and “using an instrument of interstate commerce to communicate a threat,” according to the Tennessean. Correa allegedly called the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro and, after cursing Muslims, said he was going to bomb the building on September 11.
The bomb threat was just one event in a tumultuous two years for the Muslim community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At around the same time as the bigoted campaign against an Islamic center in lower Manhattan kicked into full gear, the mosque in Murfreesboro became the target of an organized anti-Muslim campaign.
NPR ran a story yesterday that provides more background on the battle over the mosque:
The first minarets in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are about to be placed atop a new mosque. But when construction is complete on the newIslamic Center of Murfreesboro, located about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, no one will get to move in.
An ongoing court battle has stalled the project, one of several Islamic centers around the country that, like the so-called ground zero mosque, have encountered resistance from local communities...
[T]he leaders are in a state of limbo. A judge says the local planning commission failed to give enough public notice for a 2010 meeting in which the site plan was approved...
What has become a dispute about open meetings started out as an attempt by mosque opponents to put the religion of Islam on trial. The main criticism from attorney Joe Brandon Jr. has been about Shariah law, the ancient set of rules laid out in the Quran and followed to varying degrees by Muslims.
"We don't want Shariah law. We don't want a Constitution-free zone in Rutherford County, Tenn.," says Brandon, who considers the implementation of Shariah law in Murfreesboro "a probability."