The movement to ban mosques in America isn’t limited to Manhattan, but is taking place across the United States. One place far from New York City where an anti-Muslim mob has assembled is Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where an expansion project by the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has been targeted by Christian zealots, including Lou Ann Zelenik, who ran as a candidate for Congress this year.
The anti-mosque campaign in Murfreesboro has been going on for months, and has already included acts of vandalism, but the intensity of the protests against Muslims there may have reached a new level this week, with a fire at the Murfreesboro mosque construction site.
The fire has set back plans for the Islamic Center, but was it purposefully set? It’s a story to keep an eye on, but a with a dose of restraint. Federal investigators have not yet revealed for certain that the fire was arson. There have been some leaks indicating that gasoline, or another similar substance, was purposefully used to get the fire off to an especially hot start.
What we already know is bad enough: That religious extremists from across Tennessee are using the Muslims in Murfreesboro as scapegoats in order to catalyze political organization on the Right. In a hatred of Muslims, a tiny minority in the United States, right wing groups have found a way to whip their members into a frenzy of activity.
The Constitution explicitly forbids government interference with the freedom of religion. In order to achieve Christian dominion over the United States, however, Christian groups like the anti-mosque zealots in Tennessee have proven all too ready to set our nation’s founding document ablaze.