A Tennessee mosque burned today and when fire fighters and investigators rushed to the scene they found swastikas and other hate graffiti spray painted on the building.
This is the kind of closed minded thinking that has caused hate attacks on Jewish institutions in the past. Or black churches.
We decry attacks on Jewish, Buddhist and Christian institutions, business and people around the world. Likewise, we should vocally and collectively condemn this atrocious act of cowardice.
Let's get it straight.
While many terrorists use the Islamic religion as a basis for their acts, not all Muslims are terrorists. In fact, many people targeted by terrorists around the world are Muslims. Just look at the terrorist attacks in Iraq. Most are Muslim vs. Muslim.
While there have been cases of mosques being used to promote hatred and terrorism, not all mosques are used for this purpose.
And even if a mosque is used to promote terrorism (there's no indication of this in this case) it's the responsibility of the authorities to handle it. In fact, one could argue that this hate crime is akin to terrorism itself.
This country is founded on the principles of religious freedom. There is no official state religion. All religions are welcome. People are free to practice what they wish (or to not practice if they desire). This is the beauty of a pluralistic society such as ours. No one, no group, imposes its will on another. We show respect for one another's beliefs, even if we don't adhere to them ourselves.
The Tennessee attack is reprehensible. Let's hope there is an ecumenical outpouring of support for the members of the targeted mosque. And that those who committed this heinous crime are brought to justice.