By Frotho Canutus
Was this Mosque fire the product of some maniac’s blind hatred against all Muslims? If this was arson, hopefully an investigation will lead to an arrest, and a conviction.
Before the Trump-haters jump all over this story and blame Trump and his supporters for this fiery tragedy they better gather up some facts to back up their claim. Will they act responsibly and wait for actual facts? I doubt it. We have entered a new era of anti-intellectualism. One’s beliefs, no matter how far removed from truth and facts, justify any and all behavior.
Why is it wrong to rush to judgement in these cases? The reason is because the causes of events are not always what we wish to assume.
Here are two examples:
On Christmas Day, 2015 a Mosque run by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston was set on fire. According to CNN,
“The Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on authorities to investigate the fire for an anti-Muslim motive.”
Was it a Trump supporter or a white supremacist or a KKK member, or a neo Nazi who was arrested and convicted for the arson? No. It was Gary Nathaniel Moore, a self-avowed, devout Muslim who prayed multiple times daily at the Mosque. Moore pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to four years in prison. Seems like kid glove treatment to me. I could be wrong, but if a white guy wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat had been found guilty of torching a mosque he would probably get more than four years.
The second example is the Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi. This predominantly African-American church was set on fire last November days before the presidential election. Someone painted “Vote Trump” on the side of the church about the time the arson was committed. It’s a miracle that this did not lead to violence in the streets (although it probably did indirectly). I’m sure many people jumped to the conclusion that some racist Trump supporter committed the arson. Well, as it turns out the person arrested for committing the arson was Andrew McClinton, a Black man who was a member of the Hopewell congregation.
Things are not always what they seem. Beware of the purveyors of false narratives that try to twist every tragic news event into something that can be used against those they hate.
The other recent fire that I cannot help mentioning is the arson that gutted the Republican Party office in Hillsborough, North Carolina three weeks before the 2016 presidential election. As of this writing, no arrests have been made. While sometimes things are not as they seem, sometimes they are. It would be nice to have some answers in this case.