You basically can't escape news of the backlash over the planned mosque at Ground Zero these days—but definitely don't try to escape it by vacationing in Tennessee. That state, like many others across the country, is fighting its own mosque-themed battle. The Washington Post looks at a Muslim community outside Nashville that has worshiped there, quietly and without issue, for nearly 30 years. But a proposed 52,900-square-foot Islamic center has been met with a noisy town protest, complete with "Keep Tennessee Terror Free" signs.
These sentiments are popping up from California to Florida, notes the Post, shining a light on what seems to be a definite, and very recent, shift in attitude toward Muslims. The engineering professor overseeing the Tennessee mosque's planned expansion tells of the kindness of locals after 9/11, some of whom specifically approached him and his wife to tell them they had nothing to fear. Today, people give him the finger. "It's tough to see that change," he says.