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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.
“I swear by God Exalted, that I shall remain faithful to the blood of the Martyrs devoted completely to the historical right, rejecting all types of concessions no matter how strong the pressures or great the sacrifices, pledging to God Almighty to help the Palestinian people in their steadfastness and Jihad until they realize the promise of God,” was written on the page.
Most disturbingly, his page had a photo of two founders of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin and Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi, standing above members of the terrorist group carrying weapons. Despite this blatant support for terrorism, Rawash’s suspension was temporary and he is back as a board member. The decision to accept Rawash back as a board member with his support for Hamas now known casts serious doubt on the ICM’s credentials as a moderate organization. Imam Bahloul did condemn Hamas and Hezbollah for CBN News, but would only do it off-camera.
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