Arson At Tennessee Mosque: Park51 Fallout?

It seems the political rhetoric has stepped up a notch when it comes to burnings – first we had the church who wants to burn copies of the Quran on September 11th, and now equipment being used to build a new mosque outside of Nashville has been set on fire in an arson attempt.

Via CBS News:

Federal officials are investigating a fire that started overnight at the site of a new Islamic center in a Nashville suburb.

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.

It’s hardly a surprise that arson was attempted at the site, considering the outpouring of negative feedback on the new mosque, especially since the announcement of Park51 plans for an Islamic community center in New York.

The center had operated for years out of a small business suite. Planning members said the new building, which was being constructed next to a church, would help accommodate the area’s growing Muslim community.

“We unfortunately did not experience hostilities for the 30 years we’ve been here and have only seen the hostility since approval of the site plan for the new center,” said Sbenaty.

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.

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.

“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.”  

In another sign that Park51 fevor has gotten completely out of control and physically dangerous, one of the biggest cheerleaders of those who want to “ban the mosque” is now accusing the man who stabbed a New York cab driver after asking him if he was Muslim of actually being a pro-Park51 plant.  

From Talking Points Memo:

Pamela Geller, the blogger behind the movement to stop an Islamic center from being built a couple of blocks from Ground Zero, told TPMMuckraker that she doesn’t know who is behind the attack on the taxi cab driver — but noted the attacker worked with a company that was pro-Park51.

“We don’t know, we don’t know how he came to do what he did,” Geller said in a brief phone interview as she was driving last week. “But clearly, the Cordoba… Park 51 people are ginning up their fringe element. It’s very, very dangerous.”

“I don’t know why people put him up to it,” Geller said. “We know what side he’s on and it’s not ours,” she continued.

With this sort of rhetoric, one has to wonder how much more violence can be expected.


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Tom W.
Tom W8 years ago

@ Mary P.
You are either blind, deaf or stupid to have such an opinion in your denial mode and complacency for the most vile and barbaric cult allowed to penalise those with horrible death who deny their cult rules in these modern times.
A prest is to be hung in Iran for preaching of Jesus.
A women with family is to be executed in Pakistan for speaking against Mohammud. Three young girls had their heads sliced off and tow wre hung for not obeying Islamic law.
Women are openly whipped in public for poor dress code. ETC.
Can't deny religions past were evil but for a cult to be allowed to carry out such primitive barbaric and demonic penalties on it's own people and the rest of mankind without the UN or other intervention behooves me and most sane (not yours) and civilized peoples of all nations.
Get out more, graba copy of their demonic bible the Koran and read it and their Sharia laws -Go to a Mosque and questiona cleric if the laws are factual as I did.
Get ya head out of ya ass and breath woman.

Tina Scislow
Tina Scislow8 years ago

Yes, it is a Christian country along with the rest of the Americas and Europe! This is a historical fact! This is one of the things that Muslims themselves have a problem with I have found. However, the US was founded on tolerance and the belief that everyone has the right to follow what they believe. The idea is that we need to learn how to live together and how to accept each other's beliefs.
Love thy neighbour, do go to those who hate you, if someone asks you for your coat, give him your shirt as well........all of these things are Christian teachings. Catholics, (I know most people don't like them now) are also taught about the 14 acts of mercy: feed the hungry, visit the sick, free those who are incarcerated, teach those who are ignorant or teach those who don't know how to read, give something to drink to those who are thirsty, clothe the needy or those who are cold, give safe haven to those who don't have anywhere to go...... pray for the dead....Shall I go on? There is a perfect example in Mother Theresa...If we see Jesus Christ in everyone, the divine spark in everyone.....then we will learn to accept them, not only to be tolerant, but to accept them.....
Are you going to hate all Germans because of Hitler?
Do you consider every single Jew a Shylock?
Are all Italians the Mafia?
I think you will agree with me here when I say NO.
Blessings to all of us and much love. Atma Namaste!

Talia P.
Talia P8 years ago

love thy neighbor.

how many christians have forgotten that simple command from Christ?

I can't think of anything else to say.

Mary P.
Mary P8 years ago

You know Tom people of all religions are evil and sick. Its time you realized that mens actions has nothing to do with any Religions. Its their own sick mentalities that they perpetrate horrendous crimes against their own and others especially women. So STOP blaming religions and all its followers. That truely is ignorance on your part.

Mary P.
Mary P8 years ago

Tom W - " create such atrocities by men who think they are God."

Gosh you describe so perfectly the America and the Israeli Government - re the the War on Iraq and Afghanistan by America and The Merciless Blockades and Ruthless, Barbaric killings of Palestinians by Isreal.

So then according to 'YOU' and in your OWN words Judaism and Christianity too, "are sects considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist". They(america and Israel) are responsible for INTENTIONAL MASS KILLINGS; unlike the handful of islamic extremists who kill limited people in their attacks.

You, tom W, with your continued remarks of Hatred towards Islam and ALL Muslims, are a racists and hate filled mischief maker trying to divide the people of the world instead of uniting them. GOD BLESS you and guide you to luv and righteousness. Amen.

Tom W.
Tom W8 years ago

Religion ?
What constitutes a religion ?
Certainly not Muslims and followers of Islam and it's satanic ritual abuse of it's citizens by killings and crippling them by amputations and stoning to death.

Whereas women are considered half the value of men ??? Since when have men carried 9 months of pain to produce babies ?? No, they should cover their heads in shame.

Islam is a sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

America doesn't have the backbone to deny Islam as a religion. Americans fear their own shadows.

Italians are not afraid and have refused to accept a cult who denies equality of the sexes and create such atrocities by men who think they are God.

Mary P.
Mary P8 years ago

Baseless Fear and phobia will be cause of destruction of many innocent people of the world. One sheep has to just bleat and the rest wil follow. People are always shouting about how they are so free and hav a will of their own but the truth of the matter is they are still easily manipulated by Fear and suspicion of anyone different to themselves; Period. Life hasn't changed much from our forefather's time. People stil live in their own dark narrow minded world of suspicion and wish to drown themselves in their prisons of Fear and unfortunately take other innocent souls with them too.

Mary P.
Mary P8 years ago

Its disgusting, how, False Fear and Paranoia of imaginary future attacks to themselves, by others, can make people react in such negative ways that they wil themselves end up destroying and killing others; thereby doing exactly that which they were trying to prevent in others. To keep out 'Imaginary Terrorists' they themselves become 'Real Terrorists'.

Gina H.
Gina H8 years ago

I love how the xtian rightwingers continually scream about how Muslims are nothing more than terrorists. Meanwhile, xtians forget about the millions of people killed in the name of the church over the centuries world wide. How about that good ole' song "March onward Xtian Soldiers" that white fundies love to sing as they work themselves up in a hateful rage. Xtian rightwingers are worried about militaristic religions? They are one! They just want to be the only one at any cost. I guess they forget about all of the bombings at health clinics offering abortions with murdering doctors or the GLBT community or flaming crosses on the lawns of "others" along with other burning churches. Not exactly passivist, peaceful activities. Religious bigots & hypocrits... sigh!

Cynthia F.
Cynthia Fiscus8 years ago

Some people seem to pick and choose Constitutional rights, like they pick and choose passages from the bible. For example, they ignore "love thy neighbor".