The Bloomington Police Department and the FBI are treating an early Saturday morning firebombing at the Islamic Center of Bloomington as a hate crime.
Nathan Ainslie, president of Bloomington's only mosque, said a rock was thrown through a window on the lower level of the mosque on 1925 Atwater.
Kevin Robling, corporation counsel to the City of Bloomington and Mayor Mark Kruzan's chief of staff, said the investigators found a Mountain Dew bottle filled with an unknown accelerant, along with a rock that broke the window and a Coca-Cola can that might have also been filled with an accelerant. The incident was estimated to occur at about 4 a.m., Robling said.
The suspects also placed a Quran, Islam's holiest text, in a paper bag and lit it on fire outside the 200-member mosque as well.
"It was a modern miracle that one of our members of our community was here," Ainslie said. "He came in very early for our morning prayer. He was going to use the restroom and he was carrying a jug of water. He smelled the smoke when he came in and he went downstairs and just put the fire out after only a couple of minutes of the fire being started."
note that the authorities are treating it as a "hate crime". which it absolutely is, no question. but i would say that a more accurate description would be an attempted terrorist act. of course, the irony, which will probably be lost on the penny kozinskis of the world, that this was an act of terrorism against muslims and was most assuredly perpetrated by far-right christians. which is why we have to call it a "hate crime", because the kozinskis of the world generally cannot grasp the concept of christian terrorism. to them, terrorist = arab.
update: jezebella has more, and the indystar article she links to probably comes about as close to branding these people "christian terrorists" as anyone in the corporate media will:
A fire at a Bloomington mosque early Saturday is being investigated as a hate crime by the FBI and members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Task force members are officers from local police departments. The force is used to assist the FBI in investigating any domestic or international terrorist act, she said.
jezebella also links to an interesting exchange in her comments from a few weeks ago.
2nd update: the christian terrorists aren't just attacking mosques: they've attacked united church of christ churches as well (though not in indiana that i'm aware of) because of the UCC's recent decision to endorse same-sex marriage.
3rd update: oops! i was posting a comment on this atrios post (about ann coulter saying that "nothing like" recent attacks on london mosques "has happened in america" [funny, because this story sounds almost identical to those], and that the muslims probably tried to burn down their own mosques) when i realized that i had never posted a link to the indiana daily student article i linked at the top of this post. my bad.¶