Four large pieces of construction equipment, including an excavation hauler, were destroyed by fire Friday night at the construction site of a mosque expansion in Mufreesboro, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville. Local officials are calling the attack arson, and federal officials, including the FBI, are investigating.
Displays of hatred against Muslims have been on the rise this summer, fueled by attack rhetoric from GOP-tea party leaders like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich, former N.Y. Gov. George Pataki and former Tea Party Express Chairman Mark Williams, who made headlines in July by issuing a racist rant in the form of a letter in which he used the term “colored people” a dozen times. After stepping down from TPE, Williams, who lives in Sacramento, announced he was going to work full time on preventing the construction of the Park 51 Islamic center in New York.
In fact, most of the GOP-tea bagger hate rhetoric this summer has been leveled at the so-called “Ground Zero mosque,” as the Park 51 center has been dubbed by Republicans and in the corporate media. The center is slated to be built in a long-abandoned building in a section of mostly derelict buildings situated a block west of New York City Hall and two blocks north of the World Trade Center plaza.
In addition to the anger over Park 51, attacks against Muslims and new mosque construction have taken place across the country: