Gunshots Follow Fire at Site of Tennessee Mosque


As Joe mentioned on Sunday, the fire at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, in Tennessee — a fire which destroyed one vehicle of three doused with accelerant — has been identified by the FBI as “probable” arson. Now Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies are also investigating nine gunshots fired near the site over the weekend.

Whether or not the shots were intended to further frighten people who hope to someday worship at the spot, where construction has temporarily been put on hold, or, maybe (here’s hoping, despite the surrounding areas not exactly being hunting land) just a random coincidence, this “trend” is disturbingly evocative of the cowardly actions of groups like the KKK and neonazis.

Hey, at the end of the day we all have a right to protest a religious center being built (we also have a right to judge you if you do). But we don’t have a right to burn, or shoot, or in any way incur violence upon those who disagree with the way we think — even if…especially if…”they scare us.” Period.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has existed for over a decade and currently meets about a mile from the 15-acre site where the mosque is to be built. But despite that, and despite being nowhere near Ground Zero, controversy has surrounded its future site — protests this summer, at least two other vandalism episodes (including the one pictured), and public criticism from political leaders like Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, at the time a candidate for governor, who uttered the following sentiment of tolerance: “You could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, a cult, whatever you want to call it.”

Meanwhile, opponents fear the site will be turned into a terrorist training ground. Well, what do you expect, when such inspirational and forward-thinking leaders abound?

Other Islamic centers in the area are on high security.

Culture of fear = the terrorists have won, people. Let’s get out of our heads for a minute and try to remember that we’re living in 2010…aka…civilization?

[via CNN,, NYT]