The planned construction of an Islamic worship center in Murfreesboro, which The Post describes as "a quiet town of 100,000 people, largely white conservative Christians," drew especially heated opposition. Jim Daniel, a former county commissioner, told the newspaper, "What I sense is a certain amount of fear fueling the animosity," and that residents worry "the Muslims coming in here will keep growing in numbers and override our system of law and impose sharia law." TV preacher Pat Robertson helped stoke the sentiment on his "700 Club," broadcast asserting that it was "entirely possible," for Muslims to bribe Murfreesboro officials to help push the project forward.
Akbar Ahmed, head of Islamic studies at American University, told The Post, "We are becoming aware that the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims is wider than it was after 9/11, and that's a frightening prospect."
In a recent column for FindLaw, constitutional law expert Marci Hamilton wrote that furor over the construction of the Islamic center in NYC revealed a troubling threat to a core American value - religious liberty. "The United States has established the most remarkable principle in the history of cultures - an absolute right to believe whatever you want," she wrote.