An Aug. 28 fire that heavily damaged an articulated dump truck and three other pieces of construction equipment at a mosque under construction in Murfreesboro, Tenn., might be connected to the national debate surrounding Manhattan�s contentious Islamic center under development two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The equipment, owned by Ole South Excavating of Murfreesboro, was doused with accelerant and set ablaze in a suspected arson attempt. Ole South Excavating could not be reached for comment. The equipment was being used to break ground on the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Joel Siskovic, an FBI spokesman in Memphis, says the site had already been vandalized when a sign was spray-painted with the words "Not Welcome" and then torn in half. Local officials fear the vandalism is related to the debate in New York over a proposed Islamic community center and mosque two blocks from ground zero. On Aug. 30, about 150 people attended a candlelight vigil at the Rutherford County Courthouse in Murfreesboro in support of religious freedom.
Tennessee Mosque Equipment Fire Likely Linked to National Debate
August 31, 2010