Federal officials are investigating a fire that started overnight at the site of a new Islamic center in a Nashville suburb.Murfreesboro, Tennessee...also too close to Ground Zero, apparently. And now the stakes just got a lot higher and a hell of a lot more dangerous.
Ben Goodwin of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department confirmed to CBS Affiliate WTVF that the fire, which burned construction equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, is being ruled as arson.
Special Agent Andy Anderson of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told CBS News that the fire destroyed one piece of construction equipment and damaged three others. Gas was poured over the equipment to start the fire, Anderson said.
The ATF, FBI and Rutherford County Sheriff's Office are conducting a joint investigation into the fire, Anderson said.
We've gone from demagoguery to angry protests in Manhattan to national protests at mosque sites across the country now to arson, in just a few short months. What happens when someone is hurt or killed because of this, or worse?
[UPDATE] As Maha points out:
There have been Muslims in the community for 30 years; they have been worshiping in an office building. Members of the Muslim community say they have never experienced hostility until they began to build their new facility.
Opponents of a new Islamic center say they believe the mosque will be more than a place of prayer; they are afraid the 15-acre site that was once farmland will be turned into a terrorist training ground for Muslim militants bent on overthrowing the U.S. government.“They are not a religion. They are a political, militaristic group,” Bob Shelton, a 76-year-old retiree who lives in the area, told The Associated Press.Shelton was among several hundred demonstrators who recently wore “Vote for Jesus” T-shirts and carried signs that said “No Sharia law for USA!,” referring to the Islamic code of law.Others took their opposition further, spray painting a sign announcing the “Future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro” and tearing it up.Earlier this summer opponents criticized the planned mosque at hearings held by the Rutherford County Commission, as supporters held prayer vigils.At one such prayer vigil, WTVF reported opponents speaking out against construction.So can we call Evy Summers et al. bigots now? If that isn’t bigotry, I don’t know what is.
“No mosque in Murfreesboro. I don’t want it. I don’t want them here,” Evy Summers said to WTVF. “Go start their own country overseas somewhere. This is a Christian country. It was based on Christianity.”
Now we're up to arson. Is it going to take actual mosque burnings and possible deaths before America realizes this is wrong?