by adam rasmi in


Surah 49, Al-Hujurat or The Chambers. (Courtesy Everitte Barbee)

Surah 49, Al-Hujurat or The Chambers. (Courtesy Everitte Barbee)

Plans to build or expand Islamic community centres in the United States have come under intense public scrutiny in recent years. In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for example, a 2010 proposal to expand the city's only Islamic centre caused a national uproar, raising larger questions about America's acceptance of its Muslim community.

Many of Murfreesboro's 111,000 people "thought we were invading their country to take away their life", said Saleh Sbenaty, a board member at the Islamic Community Centre of Murfreesboro (ICM) and a professor at Middle Tennessee State University. Some residents, Mr Sbenaty notes, were unaware that an Islamic centre had existed in Murfreesboro for more than 30 years already.

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