Federal agents have been called in after someone poured flammable liquid on four pieces of construction equipment early today at the site of a planned new Islamic center and mosque just outside Murfreesboro.
A CBS television affiliate is reporting that it is being investigated as arson.
Carmie Ayash, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department was contacted around 1:30 a.m. by someone who had seen the fire.
Ayash said the vandalism at the site “takes it to a whole new level.” A sign on the property, off Bradyville Pike just southeast of Murfreesboro, has been damaged twice by vandals.
“Everyone in our community no longer feels safe,” she said. “To set a fire that could have blown up equipment and, God forbid, spread and caused damage to the neighbors there … we really feel like this is something that we and the neighbors don’t deserve.
The center is planned offer a new place of prayer to replace the office suite that 250 local Muslim families have been using in a nearby office building.
Hundreds of opponents to the new center packed a Rutherford County Commission meeting in mid-June to protest the Murfreesboro mosque. And when supporters of the Murfreesboro mosque held a vigil June 24 at the Rutherford County Courthouse, mosque opponents showed up.
(Source: USA Today)