Basheer Jones and Hardin Jihad say their company, Da Akhs Entertainment, sought the reservation in March for an “Eid 2010” concert, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Eid ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday marking the end of the monthlong Ramadan observance.

“We were kind of nervous at first, but we thought why not take a day that saw such great destruction and use it instead for something uplifting,” Jones told the paper.

The pair was informed there were two reservations already made for the date that had priority. Ultimately, those reservations were set aside when the Fox Theatre opted to close for needed capital improvements, according to GM Allan Vella.

“We stated we would be willing to host their event on an alternate date but they did not respond with any requests,” the Fox Theatre said in a statement. “We decided to defer all business on that day as well as the previous two weeks for capital improvement to replace the theatre’s carpet and conduct HVAC repairs.”

The statement added that the Fox Theatre did speak with the promoters and denies religious discrimination was a factor in the decision.

“The Fox Theatre did speak with this organization. We respect all rights to assemble as well as religious freedom. The organizers were informed that there were two reservations for that date taking priority before their request. In addition, we explained the Fox Theatre was sensitive to that date in terms of the meaning it has for all Americans, in particular those impacted by the tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001,” the statement said.

Vella confirmed the discussions, but said they took place in March and said he had not heard from the organization again until the suit was filed. He expressed concern that the recent controversy over a proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan and subsequent backlash against Muslims may have played a role in the organization’s decision to sue.

“I think they were trying to create additional attention for their event by exploiting the situation in Jacksonville with the minister burning Korans,” Vella told Pollstar, referring to the Florida minister sparking global outrage with his plan to burn Korans on Sept. 11.

Jones and Jihad have reportedly booked the Cobb Energy Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 12.

Click here to read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.