Eric Kehn, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said his agency has not deemed the burning of an excavation hauler as arson.Same story, different take at CBS News:
Authorities at the scene did not specify whether gasoline or some other accelerant was used to start the fire.
Ben Goodwin of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department confirmed to CBS Affiliate WTVF that the fire, which burned construction equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, is being ruled as arson.
Special Agent Andy Anderson of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told CBS News that the fire destroyed one piece of construction equipment and damaged three others. Gas was poured over the equipment to start the fire, Anderson said.While the cowards may have targeted "only" the equipment, the similarities to 1930s Germany, to the American South before the 1960s and again in the 21st Century, cannot be overlooked.
Planning committee chair, Essim Fathy, told CBS, "Our people and community are so worried of what else can happen. They are so scared."
Saleh Sbenaty, a member of the same committee and a professor of engineering technology at Middle Tennessee State University, said they had experienced no hostilities in the 30 years they've been in Murfreesboro and "have only seen the hostility since approval of the site plan for the new center."
Bob Shelton, 76 and an opponent of the center, told the Associated Press, "They are not a religion. They are a political, militaristic group.
"No mosque in Murfreesboro. I don't want it. I don't want them here," Evy Summers told a local television station early this summer. "Go start their own country overseas someplace somewhere. This is a Christian Country. It was based on Christianity."
According to the Tennessean Kevin Fisher, who spoke out against the mosque because it was approved without a public hearing and because he believes it will cause traffic problems, issued a statement after learning of the fire Saturday.
"We in this community believe strongly in the rule of law, and choose to settle our disagreements through peaceful deliberations and discussion, not vigilantism."
For an exercise in fury, visit the Tennessean's comment section.