Muslims Suspect Arson at Tenn. Mosque Site
Construction vehicles vandalized
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Kenja
Posted Aug 30, 2010 7:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – A vehicle used to break ground for a new mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was set on fire early Saturday morning, and three other vehicles were vandalized, doused in accelerant but not torched. The Muslims building the mosque call the fire one of several recent attempts at intimidation they’ve endured. “I think they are trying to send a message: Don’t support them,” Bassma Fathy, the daughter of the chairman of the planning commission, tells the Tennessean.

Fathy says detectives told her father it was a “very obvious case of arson.” Federal investigators have not, however, publicly confirmed that. It wasn’t the only sign of intimidation over the weekend, either; Fathy’s father and others heard gunshots ring out as he was giving an interview on CNN. Soon thereafter, a vehicle drove by with a horn blasting “Dixie.”