Monday, August 30, 2010

Fire at Tenn. Mosque Building Site Ruled Arson.

The right have stated that anyone who objects to their behaviour regarding the Park 51 mosque is indulging in name calling.

But the behaviour being meted out by some of their supporters towards the Muslim community goes way beyond name calling.

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.
WTVF reports firefighters were alerted by a passerby who saw flames at the site. One large earth hauler was set on fire before the suspect or suspects left the scene.

The chair of the center's planning committee, Essim Fathy, said he drove to the site at around 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning after he was contacted by the sheriff's department.

"Our people and community are so worried of what else can happen," said Fathy. "They are so scared."
This was always the danger with this fearmongering, it was always likely to spiral out of control.

There are people now literally burning down mosques in the US. I don't think that there is anything that would ever shame the Palin's and the Gingrich's of this world into silence. But we have surely got to the point where decent people can see that this whole argument is getting way, way out of perspective.

The American right have been stoking fear and hatred towards the American Muslim community for weeks now. We've seen a NY taxi driver stabbed for being a Muslim and we have witnessed people urinating in mosques. Enough is enough. Surely someone somewhere in the Republican party can pull these people back from the brink?

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Anonymous said...

Eleven Christian churches were burned by arsonists in Texas earlier this year. Five Christian churches were burned in a string of arsons in Alabama in 2006. Similar cases of serial arson against Christian churches are well documented. Reportedly 15-20 churches are burned in the US each month by arson. Anti-Christian bigotry stoked by fanatical left-wing atheists?

Kel said...

Who do you imagine burned them? And can you supply any links to reports of the burnings?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter who burned them or why in my opinion and the info may be readily obtained via google. My point is that the media is trying to use very isolated incidents to fit a certain narrative while largely ignoring incidents that conflict with that narrative.

Narrative: Right-wing and 9/11 family opposition to mosque symptomatic of American (predominantly white conservatives no doubt) hatred of Muslims. Evidence? Mentally disturbed guy stabs cabbie, drunk guy pisses in mosque, unknown person burns a piece of construction equipment on site where mosque is being built. All isolated incidents hyped by media to fit desired narrative.

Of course the media ignores the fact that Christian churches are frequently the victims of arson while attacks against mosques are seemingly very rare. They are quick to plaster isolated and infrequent attacks against the Muslim community across the front pages while ignoring much more prevalent black versus hispanic violence. That stuff just doesn't fit the desired

While understanding that not all Muslims are terrorists obviously, do people in this country generally distrust Islam? It wouldn't surprise me. That kind of distrust is a natural outgrowth from a bunch nut jobs shouting Allah Ackbar murdering thousands of Americans going back to the 80s. It doesn't have to be rational but it is understandable. Notice I said mistrust and not hatred. There is a difference. So when an imam who has made some pretty controversial statements using undisclosed likely foreign funding wants to build a mosque near the site of the greatest act of mass murder in American history with the murderers doing so in the name of Islam, it naturally causes an emotional reaction on the part of many.

The media and the left would have us buy into the narrative that this understandable reaction is in fact aberrant, that anyone who disagrees with building the mosque must be a bigot, and that this is symptomatic of more massive bigotry against Muslims in the US. I don't buy it.

Kel said...

I can understand what you say about "isolated incidents". But these incidents are occurring against a national dialogue - and yes it is occurring on the right of the political spectrum - which is strongly anti-Muslim and seeks to remove the First Amendment rights from one part of the religious community.

President Bush was always very careful to emphasise that the US was at war with al Qaeda and not with Islam. That is a distinction which appears to be lost on Republicans since Bush stood down.

Republicans now appear to be arguing that Muslims have the right to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, but that they are "unreasonable" should they avail themselves of that right.

You either have freedom of religion in your country or you don't. Once you start saying that a church or a synagogue can be built anywhere, but there are restrictions - based on "sensitivity" - as to where one can build a mosque, then you start to do bin Laden's bidding. He would love nothing more than to be able to define this as a war against Islam. I know it is not your intention, but you are playing into his hands with these objections.

Anonymous said...

As roughly 61% of Americans and 70% or so of New Yorkers oppose the building of this mosque at this site, that kind of kills any argument that it is just "republicans" who disagree with it. Unless of course there is a contention that these large pluralities are in fact all republicans.

Americans have always drawn a distinction between our rights and the responsible exercise of those rights. Nobody would deny that I have the right to go down to East Baltimore, a heavily African American part of the city, and walk around with a sign or placard that was racially insensitive. Free exercise of freedom of speech and all. It would not however be sensitive, smart, or responsible to do so.

Just as the Imam has a right to build his mosque regardless of how insensitive doing so in that location is seen by many, people have a right to exercise freedom of speech in opposition without being labelled as bigots by the minority.

Kel said...

As roughly 61% of Americans and 70% or so of New Yorkers oppose the building of this mosque at this site, that kind of kills any argument that it is just "republicans" who disagree with it.

Nice side step. I said this dialogue was coming mostly from the Republican side of the debate, not than non-Republicans haven't been scared by their fear mongering.

And I can see that the rest of your argument is built around the "sensitivity" issue. Tell me, are you calling for the Mosque at the Pentagon to be removed? After all that is another "sacred place" where people died. Or do you reserve your "sensitivity" only for the Park 51 mosque?

Anonymous said...

So the majority of Americans are opposed to this Imam building that mosque on that site be use they have been scared by republican fear mongering? If people were that mindless and the republicans were able to wield that kind power over people Obama would have never been elected. That's ridiculous and offensive.

I'm not calling for any mosque to be removed. My point is the media pushing the narrative of Muslims as victims in the US when the facts don't support it. There are far greater numbers of racially motivated attacks between Hispanics and blacks for example, yet that gets ignored. There are far greater numbers of attacks against Christian institutions yet that is also pushed to the back. Highlighting such things only highlights the relative insignificance of anti-Muslim incidents which flies in the face of the media's preferred narrative.

Also, there is no mosque in the Pentagon.

Kel said...

My point is the media pushing the narrative of Muslims as victims in the US when the facts don't support it.

What do you mean "facts don't support it"? Facts DO support it. You are not objecting to a church or a synagogue being built in lower Manhattan; you are, however, objecting to a mosque being built there.

You are specifically saying that one religion - and one religion alone - should not build a place of worship there. You say it is "insensitive" of them to build there, as if the crime which was committed there was a "Muslim" crime rather than a crime committed by a terrorist group who believed in an aberration of Islam. We did not, as the IRA bombed our cities, talk of "Catholic" terrorists, so why do so many right wing Americans insist on talking about "Islamic" terrorists?

The narrative which you insist on applying is one which demands that ALL Muslims be responsible for the behaviour of the few.

To that end, you are insisting that one religious group should be denied, or should deny themselves, rights which are available to all others.

That is a form of victimisation.

Anonymous said...

Let's see... 1) None of my comments have me objecting to anything other than a blatant media campaign, 2) Nowhere have stated that I believe a mosque should or should not be built there nor any other place of worship, 3) the IRA wasn't religiously motivated and they were quite often referred to as Catholic, 4) the huge majority of people in the US refer to teem as Islamic terrorists not just what you imagine must be "right-wingers although I'm beginning to expect you would see almost all Americans as "right-wingers"... Bah! Enough of this enumeration of all the ways in which you've chosen to mischaracterize me and what I've said here. I suspect it's pointless.

Did I mention there was no mosque in the Penragon, lol. Oh, and I voted for Obama.

Kel said...

I am glad to hear you had the good sense to vote for Obama and, yes, I was surprised that the "mosque" at the Pentagon turned out to be a prayer room.

That said, your point appears to be that there is a media campaign to portray Muslims as victims. You come to this conclusion based on the fact that the newspapers are not reporting on stories such as the ones you highlight regarding churches.

The reason the mosque story is so huge - as opposed to the other stories you mention - is to do with the fact that Fox News are all over the Park 51 story and many Republicans - and shamefully, some Democrats - are all jumping aboard. It's also August - silly season - so they will pile on to this story till something else comes along.

My point is the media pushing the narrative of Muslims as victims in the US when the facts don't support it. There are far greater numbers of racially motivated attacks between Hispanics and blacks for example, yet that gets ignored. There are far greater numbers of attacks against Christian institutions yet that is also pushed to the back.

My point is that the existence of one form of victimisation does not mean that there can't be others.

Just because there is homophobia in a certain area does not lessen the rights of victims of, for example, anti Semitism to speak out about what is being done to them.

So, you might be right that others are being victimised in a less publicised way, but that doesn't lessen the ugliness of what I am witnessing around the Park 51 mosque.