by The Associated Press
from National Public Radio
A federal judge ordered a Tennessee county on Wednesday to move ahead with opening a Muslim congregation’s newly built mosque after a two-year fight from opponents.
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro sued Rutherford County earlier in the day and asked District Judge Todd Campbell for an emergency order to let worshippers into the building before the holy month of Ramadan starts at sundown Thursday.
Federal prosecutors then stepped in with a similar lawsuit.
The future of the 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 Thursday. Final inspection of the building is required.