Nashville Islamic Center Told To Increase Security
by Kim Gebbia
MURFREESBORO, Tenn.-The search is on for the person who set fire to construction equipment at the proposed site of a Murfreesboro mosque. The construction equipment is charred and draped with crime tape. The construction has been temporary put on hold. Meanwhile, federal agents put other Islamic Centers in the area on high security.
Camie Ayash, a spokesperson for the mosque in Murfreesboro said, "If it is some kind of sign, and the message is to be scared, honestly it's working."
The Islamic Center of Nashville is increasing police patrols around the facility. It was a suggestion from ATF and FBI agents to the Islamic Center in neighboring Nashville after concerns that the contention in Murfreesboro could rear its ugly head at this mosque in the 12 South Neighborhood.
Imam Mohamed Ahmed says they have been a peaceful part of the community for thirty years and cannot understand why the debate to build a similar site anywhere in America is even happening.
Ahmed says, "Any organization who wants to build their own worship organization or house of God, what is wrong with that? What is wrong with that? I have a hard time to understand."
Investigators are not calling what happened at the site arson, but members say when equipment is doused with gasoline and set on fire, it has all the makings of a hate crime. Ahmed hopes that this apparent attempt to thwart construction will be the worst of what's to come because he knows the debate in this community, state, and nation is far from over.
"I still remember the song we shall overcome and I truly believe in my heart that someday we shall overcome," said Ahmed.