Mar 26 6:02 PM

Murfreesboro mosque hearing ends in heated confrontation

A woman takes a picture of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro after midday prayers.
Mark Humphrey/AP.

Murfreesboro, Tenn. has been a hot spot in the national debate about the limits of American Muslim inclusion and tolerance of mosques. 

The latest episode involved a hearing on Monday about a planned cemetery at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which ended in confrontation betwen journalists and mosque opponents.

After a prolonged and unsuccessful attempt to prevent the construction of the ICM in the past, opponents have now turned their attention to halt plans to build a cemetery.  

Leading the opposition to the cemetery was Lou Ann Zelenik, a former Republican congressional candidate who had accused a former member on ICM's board of "promoting terrorism."

While the presentation to the court by cemetery opponents focused on groundwater and traffic concerns, the confrontation with journalists in the hallways outside struck a very different tone.

"You're the one that's lying," one man told reporters. "It's not a religion. It's a political ideology."

Much of the ire toward the press in attendance was directed at University of Maryland journalism student Noor Tagouri. In the video below, Tagouri describes the confrontation and shares her footage of the incident:

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