Anti-mosque group in Antioch gathers 1,000 signatures

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 11:45pm

A group of Antioch residents who prefer an old movie theater be converted into a community college facility instead of a proposed mosque claim to have collected 1,000 signatures in support of their cause.

Over the past few days, community activists have canvassed neighborhoods in Antioch, leading a petition-drive to request that Carmike Cinemas sell its property at 5400 Bell Forge Lane to Nashville State Community College if the Islamic Center of Tennessee is unable to raise enough funds to close on a contract they’ve already signed.

The Islamic organization, which would refurbish the building into a mosque and community center, claims to have raised $1.18 million of the $1.55 million asking price. The group’s website features a live ticker that counts down to the Aug. 9 closing date.

In the past, Nashville State Community College had submitted a bid to purchase the building. The school’s proposal was rejected because of the lengthy time frame projected to close on the deal.

Karen Johnson, a Metro school board member and one the activists pushing the petition-drive, said approximately 1,000 area residents have, in short time, signed a petition calling for the community college to be reconsidered. Johnson said the school, which could inject more activity into the struggling Antioch area, would be more beneficial to the area than a mosque.

The plan is to eventually to meet with Carmike theater’s board of directors to hand them the petitions.

“I want to make it clear, it’s not an issue about the mosque, because there was another church that also bid on the property,” Johnson said. “It’s more an issue that we really need to have Nashville Tech in the community.”

The Antioch neighbors seem to be taking two separate routes to achieve their goal.

The petition itself requests that the college be allowed to re-submit its proposal prior to final approval of an “alternative buyer,” presumably if the Islamic center is unable to raise enough funds.

“If the current proposal that’s on the table –– the agreement between Carmike and the Islamic center –– falls through, we’d like (the college) to have an opportunity to present another offer,” said Steve Abernathy, a volunteer in the petition-drive effort.

Meanwhile, an email that’s been circulated by Johnson asks that a satellite campus for the school be reconsidered over the mosque.

“Even though the owners of Bell Forge Theater, Carmike Theaters ... have initially signed a contract with the Islamic Center of Tennessee, we hope to convince them that the community would be better served with an educational facility and to allow NSTCC another chance to bid on the property,” Johnson’s email reads.

George Van Allen, president of Nashville State Community College, indicated that the college still has an interest in purchasing the theater.

“It’s not that our interest evaporated,” he said. “The offer to sell was taken off the table for us.”

Le Champion, senior vice president and general counsel for Carmike, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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35 Comments on this post:

By: billyraydallas on 7/7/10 at 6:05

I never thought I would agree with the Southern Baptist loudmouth Richard Land, but he is right about the danger of picking and choosing which religions get to exercise freedom in the U.S. The Antioch Muslim community, willing to pay a market price for property, need to be allowed to exercise their religious freedom and enjoy capitalism just like the rest of us. Yes, Nashville State could use another campus in that area of town, but it needs to compete just like everyone else. So may the highest bidder get the go ahead; not the "favored" group. I don't care how they dress the pig, it still is a pig -- or in tis case, discrimination against a particular group.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:17

The mosque in Williamson county met with disapproval and they withdrew; the mosque in Rutherford county met with disapproval and is causing a big controversary. It would appear that main stream citizens do not want mosques in our neighborhoods. Wonder why? Could it be the conflict in the Koran about killing infidels? Or the basic rules of Sherea (sp?) law?

OR could it just be that a college in antioch would bring in more business than a mosque? After all, college students and instructors would be living and doing business in the area. Hickory Hollow needs a boost in their economics, not a threat.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:18

And by the way, hilly, christians in Muslim countries are not JUST discriminated against, they are murdered and persecuted. How does that set with you?

By: Alphadog7 on 7/7/10 at 6:25

Its not discrimination. Neighborhoods always have a say in zoning or in property uses. Communities, Neighborhood Associations, zoning regulations etc, all exist to influence such things. Its not anti-capitalistic for a neighborhood to exert their influence on what direction they want to go.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:29

Also, notice the negative headline "ANTI MOSQUE".

How about a new headline: Pro-Education group fights for new college to come to town.

And yes, we do have neighborhood meetings to discuss with developers BEFORE they make their final decision. Apparently the theatre owner and mosque builders don't respect us, or our neighborhood process.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:30

The Antioch Muslim community, willing to pay a market price for property, need to be allowed to exercise their religious freedom

So, billy, should they get to practice their religion here the exact SAME way they do in the middle east?

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:38

"Why is it so hard for Muslim to become a Christian or join with another religion? Mohammed said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him.” (Hadith Al Buhkari vol. 9:57) This command is practiced in almost all Islamic Fundamentalist countries today."

I have a friend who's mother and 10 yr old brother and she converted from muslim to Christian. her muslim father had the brother executed; did vile things to the mom and she is permanently in a hospital and my friend is in hiding.

Do you think that is a godly religion, billy?

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 6:47

"Iranian man pleads for his mother's life
Sajjad thought the worst was over, but then his mother was sentenced to be stoned to death. Mohammed Jamjoon reports."

google this on CNN; Is this the type of "justice" we want to bring to America? No, thanks, billy.

By: tomw on 7/7/10 at 6:53

tomw
I live in the neighborhood in question. I would love to see the school come into the area. The Mall was in negotiations, but FEMA is there now. there are a lot of empty buildings in the area, but parking for several thousand is the big question.
It would be great to see the Islamic Center, Nashville State and anyone displaced by the flood to come to Hickory Hollow. We need you all.

By: trtay2004 on 7/7/10 at 7:01

So many haters.... geez. This is an area hit hard by an economic crunch. If this were a Christian church (which I belong) there would not be a controversy. This is the land of the free. Those of you ignorant to THIS Islamic philosophy need to educate yourself instead of believing all the things you watch on Fox News.

By: tomw on 7/7/10 at 7:07

tomw
the important issue here is that the Islamic community have entered into a contract with the owners of the building (which has been for sale for some time), and they are well on their way to meeting the sale price. the important word here is CONTRACT. Unless they cannot meet the deadline for the money...
It looks like the haters will just have to move on to the next level of intolerance.

By: localboy on 7/7/10 at 8:31

"In the past, Nashville State Community College had submitted a bid to purchase the building. The school’s proposal was rejected because of the lengthy time frame projected to close on the deal." It's hard to believe that in the current budgetary climate that the Regents would allow that kind of capital expenditure, but perhaps it's a deal they couldn't afford to pass up.

By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 9:02

i'll second that, trtay.

By: dargent7 on 7/7/10 at 9:19

All I needed to know about Muslims and the Islamic religion I learned on 9/11.

By: breathofdeath on 7/7/10 at 9:41

The only problem with using land use and zoning as a crutch in this instance is that religious institution is a land use that is already approved under the current zoning for that property. So there could be a million signatures on the petition and it just wouldn't matter. Just like the hue and cry over the temporary location of the Greyhound station. Greyhound can say Screw You to the neighborhood because that particular land use is approved under the current zoning. You can't stop it.

By: Ellie G on 7/7/10 at 9:46

@Dargent7: All I needed to know about Muslims and the Islamic religion I learned on 9/11.

Do we really want to judge all of Christianity by the Salem witch trials, the Crusades, and the Spanish inquisition? Freedom of religion doesn't just mean freedom for the religions you agree with.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 10:53

You can't stop it.

Wow! they stopped IT in Williamson county.

I want the school which will bring in more income and more freedom and less bickering.

Ellie, what part of being a Muslim do you agree with? The stoning of adulterers in this modern culture; the killing of a daughter who disobeys a father's command? The killing by his father of a 12 year old boy who converted to christian? Covering all parts of a woman except eyes, nose, mouth in order that no one lusts after her (control by males dominated religion)?

Exactly which part is it you love Elle?

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 10:54

Or maybe Elle, you are more diabolacle (sp) than that. Maybe you love the Muslim law on homosexuality. Hmmmm! Is that it? Cause they have a zero tolerance.

By: dnewton on 7/7/10 at 11:14

By: trtay2004 on 7/7/10 at 8:01
So many haters.... geez. This is an area hit hard by an economic crunch. If this were a Christian church (which I belong) there would not be a controversy.

Muslims are not like any other church. The sixth Congressional district Democrat candidate is making the same mistake. This is like saying that you can bring in an elephant if the rental unit has a one pet policy. Islam is a predatory religion that will, if given enough tolerance, end up eliminating all of the others. No Muslim can be a perfect Muslim until and unless he practices jihad. Once they dominate the landscape, they will split into two factions and war against each other.

By: nashpar on 7/7/10 at 11:29

By: breathofdeath on 7/7/10 at 10:41 This group appears to be ahead of the process of zoning which is surprising. In most cases a neighborhood finds out after the sale and then they start fighting with codes, planning, etc.
tomw on 7/7/10 at 8:07 seems you have never been concerned or fought for anything positive in your neighborhood. Seems west nashville, east nashville and green hills are the way they are because they are engaged and don't just sit idly by. its good to see the Antioch community voice their feelings about wanting something positive for their community. A school would bring alot of activity there just as Vanderbilt did for 100 oaks which I think had the same type issues. Look at white bridge road its bustling. Antioch deserves what their community wants to see in their public business area.
Alphadog7 on 7/7/10 at 7:25 your post is spot on. Look at what happened in brentwood. They were in the next phase after a purchase but in the zoning codes thing and looked what happened. Now they have a greenspace paid by city money. So you never know what the efforts of a strong neighborhood group will do. I hope they get the college. Does not appear they are against a mosque. This article is misleading but in reading it the mosque has so many more options should something fall through.

By: tomw on 7/7/10 at 11:49

tomw
Nashpar, where do you you get anything from my post that I have never done anything for my community? You have no idea which civic groups, watch groups or neighborhood groups I belong to. I live where I do because I chose to live there and I work for the revitalization of a communty that is having hard times.
This whole matter started out as an economic choice for a community, and that is how I still see it.

By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 12:45

tomw, he apparently doesn't know what he's talking about. Green Hills has always been wealthy and so have parts of West Nashville. it's taken two decades for East Nashville to get where it's at. some other parts of town are more of an uphill battle and it takes a lot more work to come around. i live in one of those neighborhoods myself so i know how it feels.

By: Kosh III on 7/7/10 at 2:20

So, billy, should they get to practice their religion here the exact SAME way they do in the middle east?

Yes, let them worship like they do in Syria where the Grand Mosque of Damascus has it's principle shrine dedicated to John the Baptist with a secondary shrine dedicated to the mother of Jesus.
The RCC archbishop of NYC recently visited and was welcomed warmly by the leading clerics of the mosque.
The principle seminary there teaches that Muslims must accept all people and treat them equally.

By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 2:38

If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will.
Abraham Lincoln

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 2:54

This group appears to be ahead of the process of zoning which is surprising. In most cases a neighborhood finds out after the sale and then they start fighting with codes, planning, etc.
tomw on 7/7/10 at 8:07 seems you have never been concerned or fought for anything positive in your neighborhood said by nashpar on 7/7/10 at 12:29

I'm not sure if I read you right nashpar. Are you saying we, here in Antioch, don't have concern or join together to fight for anything positive?

Where has your head been stuck down? or UP?

For 8 years our city councilman has been on top of every development and/or project wishing to come to Antioch. We have had community meetings numbering from 3 people to 150 people. He has conducted civil, orderly meetings and we have gotten to vote on projects and have had input into projects even BEFORE they went before the planning commission.

The negative projects out here were approved by our former council WOMAN who only spoke to those on HER side. She has yet to return my phone call from 8 years ago.

Our councilman is dedicated and responsible. Our neighborhood is mixed and yes, we have some crime. Much like Brentwood (remember the mexican in the closet who murdered his lover's husbandd?) or like west nashville or east nashville. The problem for Antioch is that we always seem to be on the media radar for negative. Just look at the headline of this article.

It should read 'Antioch strongly in favor of new college satellite". BUT no, it's negative.

Kosh, you are a very intelligent person and I respect your views. I just happen to believe that the Koran is not a totally peace-filled and inspired book of rules. Mohammud was a warrior who took many wives and even slept with young girls. When I speak of the middle east, I'm looking at the part that I see morning, noon and night coming out of the media. Where else would I look? I'm not going to the middle east -ever. Too costly and too dangerous for a civilian.

By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 3:06

the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.

By: budlight on 7/7/10 at 3:19

Beernazi, the old testament is filled with the violence. Please. Christians do not use that part of the bible as their guide; it's all the new testament.

AND no one said ALL christians are good. Hitler was human. And I bet if hitler were alive, obama with his empathy would pardon him.

By: robertmack on 7/7/10 at 9:14

I have spent the past two years studying everything I could find on Islam; Islam and the Muslims and their jihad. I can give you some quick learning literature to read that will teach you all you really need to know about the Muslims, Islam, Sharia Law, and what their plans are for the West. The book is “Cruel and Usual Punishment” authored by Noni Darwish and published by Thomas Nelson. You can find it at Barnes and Noble, Borders and other good book stores.
Take a serious look at Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Spain and Holland and you will learn that it is not racism, nor any type of derogatory feelings or comments made about religion. It is all about their desire to kill infidels. Read the book.
You and I need to know our enemy and the enemy isn't us, it is Islam.

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:19

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

Beernazi, I am

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:19

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

Beernazi, I am sorry that you think that calling yourself a car makes you a car.
Do you really think that hitler (no caps intended) calling himself a Christian made him a Christian?
Do you think that anyone else in the past was a Christian simply by calling themselves a Christian no matter how they badly they behaved? Do you not even know (like so many people today) what the word, Christian means? Perhaps you should look the word up from a reliable source.

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:20

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

Beernazi, I am

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:20

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

Before you make statements, you should know what you are talking about, because here you have made yourself look e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y foolish to any informed person because based on your statements above, you can not differentiate or discern the simplest thing.
For another thing, you apparently “checked your brains out at the door” if you do not know the difference between guilty and innocent. Those were NOT (caps for emphasis here) terrorists. Apparently, you know absolutely nothing about the people whom the GOD (caps for respect) of the Bible (both the Old and New Testament, budlight) either killed or had His people to wipe out. GOD just happened to have a reason—as a matter of fact, a very b-i-g reason for doing this. That reason is that the people that He killed or had killed were extremely wicked people. They worshiped false gods which lead them into all kinds of gross sins as having orgies in the name of their fertility god believing the lie that the more immoral they were, the more fertile their land would be and the more it would produce. These extremely wicked people sacrificed their children, just as America has been doing for a number of years (only to a different god(s), the god of convenience, etc.). They made their children walk through fire, etc. How is the muslim religion different? They kill people people just because the people do not agree with them. In the same way that nations that forgot GOD were turned over into the hands of their enemies and were turned into hell, so goes America unless we repent and return to Him. This happened with GOD's own people since He is no “respector” of persons. The wages of sin is death for all mankind.
The problem with both the CHRISTians (or shall I say the professing CHRISTians) and the muslims is that neither one of them know their book. If those who profess to be CHRISTians knew their Book, we would have a much better world today. If the peace-loving “muslims” knew their book they would not be muslims.
Budlight, do not fall for this ignorance and lie. Some people think the theme of the Bible is GOD's love. The theme of the Bible is is not GOD's love (even though He is the GOD of love) but the theme of the Bible is GOD's holiness. That is why it called the HOLY BIBLE. You must understand that sin cannot stand before a holy GOD. He is being very merciful now in this dispensation of Grace, which is soon coming to an end. A time will come and is not far away that we will be seeing Him (just like in history, as recorded in the Bible and by other reliable historians, when a nation turns its back on Him), turn them (America which has become a fool to turn its back on Him) over into the hands of their enemies. As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying, giving in marriage... I plead with people to get into the ark. The only ark is JESUS CHRIST.
The difference between the muslims and CHRISTians—CHRISTians believe in peace; muslims believe in pieces.

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:21

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

Beernazi, I am

By: jagnet7 on 7/7/10 at 9:22

new By: Beernazi on 7/7/10 at 4:06
“the Bible isn't exactly peace-filled either. there's many examples of home grown Christian terrorists. also, many Christians have been very evil - in fact, Hitler was Christian.”
___________________

You really fell sucker to all those liberal lies, Beernazi. BTW, is the last part of your name an indicator of something? I just bet you are smarter than those statement you made above.

By: slzy on 7/9/10 at 10:07

is antioch zoned for stonings?