The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro did not get final approval to move into its new building today as members had hoped. Officials with the mosque say a problem with the sprinkler system held up an inspection, but they’re still optimistic about opening the doors soon.
The mosque has faced numerous setbacks over the last two years, including vandalism and arson at the construction site, and a lengthy court fight. Last month a federal judge ruled the approval process shouldn’t hold off any longer.
Islamic Center Board Chair Essam Fathy says they had hoped to show the sprinkler system was in good working order and get final approval today. Fathy says a minor glitch means officials will have to come back next week, but he’s still hopeful.
“Everybody was here today from the inspector’s. They bragged on everything. Even the fire marshal said that ‘I just don’t see anything that can hold it – everything is okay. You should be able to have it – if we were able to allow more time, probably you could have it today.’”
Fathy says the congregation hopes to hold a prayer in the new mosque by this time next week. The Islamic holy month of Ramadan ends one week later.
EARLIER – 12:20 PM
Murfreesboro Mosque Nearing Final Approval
The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is nearing final approval to move into its new building. Last month a federal judge ruled the process couldn’t be put off any longer, after opponents tried to delay its opening in court.
Aside from the legal fight over the last two years the mosque has faced arson, bomb threats and vandalism. Now Islamic Center officials say they’re nearly ready to open the doors. Yesterday the building’s electrical system passed inspection, and they expect the fire marshal to test its sprinklers this afternoon.
Even so, there’s plenty left to do. Workers weren’t done laying asphalt in the parking lot this morning, and scaffolding was still standing just inside the door. A spokesman hopes they can move furniture in and hold services there by the end of next week. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends one week later.