Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Incidents at Mosque in Tennessee Spread Fear

New York Times
August 30, 2010

After a suspected arson and reports of gunshots at an Islamic center in Tennessee over the weekend, nearby mosques have hired security guards, installed surveillance cameras and requested the presence of federal agents at prayer services.

Muslim leaders in central Tennessee say that frightened worshipers are observing Ramadan in private and that some Muslim parents are wary of sending their children to school after a large fire on Saturday that destroyed property at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Federal authorities suspect that the fire was arson.

The Islamic center has attracted national attention recently because its planned expansion into a larger building in some ways parallels a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York.