May 2010: A still-unidentified white man walks into a Jacksonville, Fla., mosque and sets it afire, simultaneously setting off a pipe bomb.
On May 10th, a middle-aged man carried a can of gasoline and a pipe bomb into the Jacksonville Islamic Center of Northeast Florida during evening prayers and detonated it. Fortunately, there were no injuries to people, though the bomb did damage property.
The surveillance video above gives a fairly decent picture of this man, who is clearly white, middle-aged, and on a mission.
The local news is all over it, of course. WOKV.com reports the FBI investigating it as a hate crime and possible domestic terrorism.
"It was a dangerous device, and had anybody been around it they could have been seriously injured or killed," says Special Agent James Casey. "We want to sort of emphasize the seriousness of the thing and not let people believe that this was just a match and a little bit of gasoline that was spread around."
Casey says surveillance video from the Islamic Center shows the arsonist carrying gasoline and the pipe bomb. When the explosive went off, parts of it were found 100 feet away on 9A.
So, a mosque is bombed by a white guy and the bomb isn't exactly small, but the national media sees no value in reporting it? Really? And yet, that is evidently the case.
Anti-Muslim sentiments in Florida have been bubbling to the surface, particularly after Republican Dan Fanelli's campaign commercial was aired asking if a man appearing to be from the Middle East "looked like a terrorist." According to Yahoo News, there were two other ads with even more pointed messages against Muslims:
Another ad has Fanelli saying, "This is a terrorist," as he presents a "Middle Eastern" man strapped with a "bomb" and wearing what appears to be a dish towel "turban."
Yet another ad shows two Arabic-speaking "terrorists" constructing a bomb while discussing "martyrdom" and "killing infidels." The ad also mocks long-standing due process rights such as Miranda warnings and access to lawyers.
These ads air, and a mosque is bombed. The bomb could have killed many people. To further stir the pot, this:
Last month, CAIR reported that a Muslim university professor was appointed to the Jacksonville, Fla., Human Rights Commission despite a prolonged smear campaign by the anti-Islam hate group ACT! for America, whose leader says Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office.
There's a deep pattern of anti-Islam behavior in Florida. CommonDreams.org has the list. It's a story worthy of attention by every single citizen in this country.
I did a quick Google news search. I found lots of local stories. But look what happens when I try major news sites: