OTHER OPINION: Nashville’s rising, again

By The Nashvillle Tennessean

This time it isn’t a flood – it’s about overcoming fear and intolerance. When the Al-Farooq mosque was vandalized earlier this week for the second time in three years, the surrounding community came out in force to clean up, to reassure mosque leaders, and to hold a rally and prayer service.
That was a very different response from 2010, when the mosque was defaced. People were slow to react then, although the incident came only a few months after vandalism of a Murfreesboro mosque.
Perhaps now, residents are just beginning to understand that Nashville’s diversity is its strength. Or, possibly, more of the public realizes that their own religious liberties are compromised when those of others are under attack.
That sort of vigilance is needed now as much as ever.
Although police so far have suggested this week’s incident was committed by only one person and was not planned, officers may want to consider this: This second vandalism occurred three years to the DAY, after the first vandalism. It could be coincidence, but such cases should not be left to chance.
Certainly, the congregants of Al-Farooq would benefit from a thorough investigation by police and FBI with no lingering questions.
Let’s not lose sight, either, that it is particularly heinous when a place of worship is targeted, whatever the motive. As Remziya Suleyman, who leads the American Center for Outreach, said this week, “houses of worship … are sacred homes.”
This city of families and many religions has shown it will stand against such desecration.

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