3 Men Charged in Mosque Burning

February 13, 2008 § 6 Comments

Recently, in Nashville Tennesee three men belonging to the Christian Identity Movement – a radical group with a Eurocentric interpretation of Christianity – have been arrested by federal agents, as suspects in connection with the burning of a mosque (masjid) called the Islamic Center of Columbia. The fire completely destroyed the mosque and a number of items such as Qur’ans, etc.. The suspects – age 19, 23 and 32 – appeared in court Monday, February 11, 2008.
clipped from www.alarabiya.net
The attackers painted a swastika and the phrases “white power” and “we run the country” on the mosque’s exterior.Abudiab, president of the Islamic Center, told the daily the markings clearly pointed to a hate crime;

“The writing on the wall says it all.”

Over the next few days, leaders of the mosque, which has a congregation of about 20, will be meeting with an insurance adjuster and trying to decide whether they can rebuild the mosque at the same location, the paper said. They also have to figure out how to dispose of burned Qurans and other religious materials left over from the fire.

“We want to make sure that they are burned completely,”

he said.

“We don’t want any fragments of them floating around the neighborhood and ending up in trash cans.”

Meanwhile, a local church has offered its support, raising $1,000 for the mosque and offering up space for worship on Fridays at First Presbyterian Church, local TV station WKRN reported.

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§ 6 Responses to 3 Men Charged in Mosque Burning

  • dawudwalid says:

    As-Salaamu `Alaykum,

    Very sad situation. However, the local Non-Muslim community has rallied around the Muslims, which shows the general kindness and humanity pf the average American.

    In these situations, I wonder how different the narrative in the media would be if let’s say three vandals, who happen to be Muslim would deface and burn down a church or Jewish temple.

    Thanks to ALLAH (SWT) no one was injured, and insha’ALLAH, the community will have the chance to rebuild the masjid.

    Wassalaam.

  • James says:

    One quibble about the definition of “Christian Identity,” you are actually a little too kind in your definition. May God bless you for that.

    The “Christian Identity” movement is part and parcel of a far right-wing racist and fascist movement that includes Neo-Nazis, Skinheads, KKK and other deeply disturbed folks like the survivalists and militia movements. These people are scary and dangerous. In the Clinton years the Feds went after these folks in a big way and treated them like the criminal scum of the earth they are. Remember these are the folks are the sea that fishes like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols swam in.

    I hope with God’s grace that the masjid not only gets rebuilt but is better than before. I’m also hoping the authorities come down big, hard and nasty on the low-life haters who committed this crime.

  • Richard Bowser says:

    Bismillahir Rahminir Rahim

    I have seen indecision in the authorities first response to this atrocity. As I understand it, this is not being prosecuted as a hate crime. WHY NOT? What alternative crime could be more obviously motivated by hate?

    Perhaps a lawyer could explain this to me. Is it necessary to cause a homicide before a crime can be a crime of hate?

    OTOH, it gives my heart joy that the Nashville community has responded to help restore the masjid.

    As Salam Aliekum

  • James says:

    Richard Bowser,

    Why not prosecute for hate crimes? Maybe on second blush they will. Maybe the bar for “hate crimes” in Tennessee is ridiculously high. Maybe the Arson charges carries a significant enough punishment and adding a hate crime charge might be seen as piling on. I would rather not second guess the prosecutor at this time. Let us see what comes out of the legal process then we can find out if justice was served. I mean as far as I can tell the alleged perpetrators have not even had a bail hearing yet; it is very early in the criminal process.

  • Richard Bowser says:

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

    Thank you, my dear James for those insightful observations. There are many subtleties Allah Al-Hakam alone can comprehend in any particular case, and it is good to remind ourselves of the limits to human justice we must consider, living here in God’s reality. As Salam Aliakum.

  • nunyabinnes says:

    You asked what the reaction would be if it were Muslims burning down synagogues or churches?

    Did you type that with a straight face?

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