Then, last Saturday, some jerks painted swastikas and slogans on the walls, and set the place on fire.
The center's president, Daoud Abudiab, said that some of the slogans were "white power" and "we run the world."
Daoud Abudiab also said:
- "We have not had any trouble."
- "This is the first incident."
- "This has been home for us _ Middle Tennessee and Columbia _ since 1998, and people have been supportive and friendly and welcoming."
- "Obviously, we are concerned, but it hasn't really sunk in yet."
I'll admit to being biased: wherever I've lived, there have been a lot of people who are willing to get along, and a tiny minority of noisy jerks. As a result, I expect to find jerks everywhere. But, I also expect that if I use a noise filter, I'll find a lot of people who are as willing to put up with me.
Back to hatred and violence in Tennessee.
Three men, members of the Christian Identity movement, were arrested Saturday:
- Eric Ian Baker, 32
- Michael Corey Golden, 23
- Jonathan Edward Stone, 19
So far, the three firebugs face federal charges (unlawful possession of a destructive device) and state charges (arson). I'd say that the odds are that hate crimes will be added to the list, since "White Power" was one of the slogans.
The complaint against the trio gives a sort of doorway into the mind of the three arsonists. I'd suggest wearing a mental hazmat suit before entering. Quotes from the complaint:
- "Stone admitted to special agents that he is a member of the Christian Identity movement and that stripes or promotions are earned for committing acts of violence against 'enemies'."
- "Baker explained to the special agents that 'What goes on in that building is illegal according to the Bible,' "
- "Baker also explained to the agents that the Nazi symbols painted on the building meant 'freedom on the streets.' "
In my experience, at least, outfits like the Mid-Atlantic Dialogue of Catholics and Muslims (established 1996) are more typical of Christian-Muslim relations in America. (More at the "Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs - Islam" page of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' website.)
Islam doesn't have a monopoly on having moonbat-crazy supporters. As the the Christian Identity movement members showed last weekend, Christendom has its share of wackos.
However, I think that the War on Terror would be over much sooner, if more Islamic countries followed the example of (Islamic) Indonesia and (Christian) America1 in treating terrorists as the dangerous people they are. Even if the terrorists claim to be supporting the country's major religion.
1 I know that it's unpopular in some of the 'better' circles to call America a Christian country, unless it's a criticism. However, since 78% of Americas are Christian, lumping together Protestants, Catholics, and Mormons I think it's safe to say that America is a country with a Christian majority.
Related posts, on Islam, Christianity, Religion, Culture and the War on Terror.
Related posts, on tolerance, bigotry, racism, and hatred.