It’s been two weeks since U.S. Supreme Court put an end to a lawsuit against the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM). And surprisingly, there hasn’t been a peep about it from the organized anti-Muslim movement.
On June 2, The Supreme Court did not take up an appeal filed in 2010 by opponents of the ICM that claimed Rutherford County failed to provide adequate notice about the meeting the where the mosque was approved. Since then, ICM leadership has found itself entwined in a nearly four-year-long legal battle, countless protests and one arson attack over the center’s right to exist.
Fortunately, that particular lawsuit has come to an end. However, what has been a perplexing result has been the lack of response to the ICM’s victory from those who vehemently opposed it. Not even anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller — usually fast to quip that government entitites, such as the Supreme Court, are “capitulating” to Shariah — has weighed in.
Although the plaintiffs that filed the lawsuit are local Tennessee residents, the construction of the ICM garnered national attention from prominent anti-Muslim activists. Geller, and her partner Robert Spencer, purported theories about the unlawfulness of the ICM. Frank Gaffney, one of the leading conspiracy theorists in the movement, was brought in by the plaintiffs in 2010 to help stop the project by claiming it would impose Shariah on the neighboring community. Gaffney ignored the recent ruling.
Filmmaker and David Horowitz Freedom Center flavor of the month, Eric Allen Bell, dedicated no space to the decision via his social networks or blog. Bell became a favorite among anti-Muslim activists after he flip-flopped on his views about Muslims and became a proponent against the ICM. Even Lou Ann Zelenik, a Tennessee activist who is currently involved in another lawsuit against the ICM’s cemetery proposal, devoted no public response to the ruling. Maybe she’s just tired of being put at the back of the bus.
The lack of response to the Court’s decision actually speaks volumes. It demonstrates that while the attacks on ICM caused stress and anxiety in the local Muslim community, the attackers saw this disturbance as a mere blip on their ongoing crusade to marginalize American Muslims. When the lawsuit was finally laid to rest and the ICM came out victorious, anti-Muslim activists had already moved on to other ways to publicly vilify Muslims though the damage they caused is not quite undone. Their actions call into question the true motivations of those who zero in on communities to stir up fear and distrust, but then refuse to give it a second thought after it’s all said and done.
The ICM still faces an ongoing challenge regarding their right to install a cemetery on their grounds. However, the congregation can hopefully take a breath of assurance knowing this particular lawsuit and chapter is over.