Posts Tagged “arson”

Lebeau Plantation - fire guts historic building in Old Arabi Friday morning, Nov. 22, 2013. (Ray Solis Photo, via The Times-Picayune)As I’ve mentioned several times before, once upon a time, the vocation of “ghost hunter” and/or “paranormal investigator” was rare. It was so rare, in fact, that in Connecticut, where I grew up, these phrases were used to speak only of Lorraine Warren and her late husband Ed. Over the past 10 years or so, though — probably owing to the numerous television series on “ghost hunting” that have cropped up on almost every cable channel — it seems virtually everyone has become a “ghost hunter.” And why shouldn’t they? There’s no training involved, no credentialing, and no standards to abide by. Pretty much anyone can grab a camera, a recording device, maybe a light meter, and traipse through old places claiming to find “entities” and assorted other nutty stuff.

Most of the time, aside from the occasional trespassing incident (cached), and the even-more-occasional freak-accident death, there’s little harm this pastime. Still, “ghost hunters” do manage to get themselves into trouble, and even destroy property. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports on a cadre of ghost hunters who, upset that they couldn’t manage to scare up a ghost in a supposedly-haunted plantation, set fire to it (WebCite cached article):

The seven men in custody in connection with the suspected arson of LeBeau Plantation [cached] in Old Arabi apparently were looking for ghosts, according to St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann. The sheriff said the men had been smoking marijuana and drinking in the vacant house.

One of the men is from Arabi, one is from Gretna, and the others are from Texas, the sheriff said.

The men, between the ages of 17 and 31, arrived at the home late Thursday night, likely entering through a gap in the fence around the property that had been cut out by other curious trespassers over the years, according to Col. John Doran, who oversees the Sheriff’s Office’s criminal enforcement.…

Doran said the men appear to have become frustrated when no ghosts materialized. Police believe that in a haze of alcohol and marijuana, one of them decided to burn the place to the ground.

Doran said the ringleader seemed to be Dusten Davenport, 31, of Fort Worth, Texas, who is suspected of having the idea to start the fire, and who began stacking up pieces of wood.

Despite being supposedly fogged by booze and/or pot, these creeps managed to do a pretty thorough job of razing the place. I have to wonder how intoxicated they truly were. They’re lucky none of them was hurt or killed during the course of this little adventure.

Photo credit: Ray Solis Photo, via The Times-Picayune.

Hat tip: Raw Story, via RationalWiki.

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Pakistani police officials examine the burnt out houses of members of the Christian community in Lahore / AFP/Getty Images, via The IndependentOnce again, I have to report on yet another example of “the Religion of Peace” displaying its true colors for the world to see. The (UK) Independent reports a mob of Muslims — enraged by the possibility that someone had dared dis their almighty prophet — threw a colossal, violent tantrum, ripping through a neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan and burning down a hundred buildings (WebCite cached article):

Hundreds of people in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore ransacked a Christian neighborhood today and torched dozens of homes after hearing reports that a Christian man had committed blasphemy against Islam’s prophet, said a police officer.…

The incident started yesterday when a young Muslim man accused a Christian man of committing blasphemy by making offensive comments about the prophet, according to Multan Khan, a senior police officer in Lahore.

A large crowd from a nearby mosque went to the Christian man’s home last night, and Khan said police took him into custody to try to pacify the crowd. Fearing for their safety, hundreds of Christian families fled the area overnight.

Khan said the mob returned today and began ransacking Christian homes and setting them ablaze. He said no one in the Christian community was hurt, but several policemen were injured when they were hit with stones as they tried to keep the crowd from storming the area.

I must congratulate the world’s Muslims on their ability to keep up their angry, violent religionistic immaturity. It’s an incredible achievement. Well done! You all must be so proud.

Oh, and it’s behavior like this that makes the rest of the world sleep so well at night, knowing Pakistan has nuclear weapons at its disposal. Yep, it’s positively heart-warming and reassuring to know this. No doubt!

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images, via The Independent.

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Construction at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Tennessee in July, 2012 (Stephen Lance Dennee/Associated Press, via the New York Times)The Great Neocrusade pulled out all the stops in its effort to prevent a mosque from opening up in Murfreesboro, TN. I’ve blogged about the measures taken against it — both legal and illegal — by militant, furious Neocrusaders. But all of it was for naught. As the New York Times Lede blog reports, the mosque opened this weekend (locally-cached article):

After years of attacks, threats and court action, an Islamic center in Tennessee cleared one last hurdle that allowed it to open its doors on Friday to worshipers, allowing them to honor the occasion with prayers on what is Islam’s main congregational day of the week. But the opening of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro was overshadowed by concerns after the shooting of worshipers at a Sikh temple on Sunday in Wisconsin and an arson attack on a mosque in Missouri this week. …

The mosque faced arson, vandalism and a court battle before it cleared [cached] a final step when it passed inspection this week and was given a temporary certificate of occupancy for 30 days.

Even in spite of their having ultimately lost this battle, some Neocrusaders still chose to be on hand to whine about the mosque’s opening:

Standing in the parking lot, Dan J. Qualls, 50, a former car plant worker, said he came to the center to protest. Mr. Qualls, wearing an “I Love Jesus” hat, said he understood that the First Amendment protects the right to worship freely but said he believed Islam represented violence.

To be clear, Mr Qualls and the rest of you Christofascist Neocrusaders … your own religion is violent, too. Moreover, you know it, even if you’d prefer not to have to admit it. Complaining about Islam being violent (and yes, it can be!) does not grant you the right to act as though your own religion is non-violent. It most certainly is not.

I suggest that Neocrusaders crack open their Bibles for once and actually read the reported teachings of Jesus Christ himself, the founder of their own religion:

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7:3-5)

“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” (Lk 6:41-42)

Before you militant Christians can presume the right to critique other peoples’ religions, you should begin following your own. Please start doing so.

Photo credit: Stephen Lance Dennee/AP, via the New York Times.

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The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has faced intense local opposition over plans to construct a new mosque. / CNNUpdate: There’s been some news about this mosque, which I’d missed; see below.

I already blogged about the mosque under construction in Mufreesboro, TN which was burned to the ground. And Tennessee’s Neocrusaders kept up their campaign against the project. But as CNN’s Belief Blog reports, their efforts have been for naught; the mosque is going to be built after all (locally-cached version):

It has taken months, but leaders of an embattled Murfreesboro, Tennessee, mosque say that construction of a new facility could start as soon as next month.

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro has existed for more than a decade. As it surpassed 1,000 worshippers, its members planned to build a new 52,000-square-foot structure with a mosque, gym, playground and cemetery.

The Neocrusaders certainly did put up a fight, though, using the aforementioned arson and vandalism, as well as lawsuits, and intimidating potential contractors:

Some contractors weren’t willing to take the job. Mosque leaders said contractors told them it had become too much of a hot-button issue and presented too much of a risk to their business and equipment. Several contractors began the bidding process but never finished.

Mosque officials said a contractor told them that he needed the work but that the leaders of his own church were against the new Islamic center.

“I had a contractor tell me, ‘I don’t want to get on bad terms with my preacher,'” said Essam Fathy, a member of the Islamic Center’s board of directors.

This isn’t surprising, since it happened in Tennessee, the state whose lieutenant governor once proudly declared that there is no freedom of religion for Muslims in the U.S.

Surely this is the Religion of Love at work, isn’t it? (That’s a little sarcasm, folks.) Way to go, people. Way to go. Your Jesus would have been so proud, I’m sure. Really.

Update (7/18/2012): Last month, local county officials — no doubt driven by Neocrusading furor — brought this project to a halt. But as The Tennessean reports, a federal judge threw a wrench in the Right’s machinery and set it back on track (cached). Not surprisingly, mosque opponents are upset, and claim they were cheated of an opportunity to try to stop the project. This is truly laughable and pathetic, given all they’ve done, for a couple of years now, to try to keep this mosque from being built. These people desperately need to fucking grow the hell up.

Photo credit: CNN Belief Blog.

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Torches & Pitchforks | TV TropesSo, what do Neocrusaders do when they hear about a Muslim terrorism suspect being arrested in a sting operation (WebCite cached article)? Why, obviously, they torch a mosque that the suspect attended. WMTR-TV in Eugene, OR reports on the suspected arson (cached article):

A fire early Sunday morning at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center attended by Mohamed Osman Mohamud has been declared arson by the Corvallis Fire Department.

Officials said that the fire — which was contained to one room — was intentionally set.

The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

That’s right, folks. Before all the facts have been revealed, before there’s been a conviction, before even the trial has begun — the Neocrusaders have already pronounced sentence; the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center has been found guilty of its complicity (in what hasn’t even been determined a crime yet), and set ablaze.

Why, absolutely this is justified. After all, didn’t Muslims kill Americans on September 11, 2001? Shouldn’t all the mosques around the country be set on fire? Please note, this is not the first mosque that’s been torched by enraged Neocrusaders, I’ve already blogged about another mosque arson.

Can we finally decide that, maybe — just maybe — it’s time for people to fucking grow the hell up, fercryinoutloud, before someone gets killed?

Photo credit: TV Tropes.

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In a Saturday, Aug. 28. 2010 photo, Rutherford County Sheriff's Office and ATF investigators examine equipment damaged in a fire at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Authorities told mosque officials that four pieces of heavy construction equipment on the site were doused with an accelerant and one set ablaze, said Camie Ayash, spokeswoman for the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. (AP Photo/The Daily News Journal, John A. Gillis)Religious Right outrage over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” (which is really a cultural center, and will be built near, not on top of, the site of the former World Trade Center, as I blogged already) has been palpable over the last several weeks. For the most part, opponents have said they’re not really opposed to the building of a mosque in the US, just not near the World Trade Center. The problem with this claim, though, is that it’s a lie! All over the country, proposed mosque constructions have run into opposition by the Religious Right … not just the Cordoba Center/Park51 project. One example of this has been in Murfreesboro TN, as the Washington Post reported recently (WebCite cached version). Well, opponents of the Tennessee mosque appear to have ratcheted the heat up — literally; the AP (via Google News) reports that the ATF and FBI have found that its construction site had been torched (cached article):

Federal investigators said Friday that a suspicious fire that damaged construction equipment at the site of a future mosque in Tennessee was arson and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The future mosque in Tennessee, like other houses of worship for Muslims across the country, has been drawn into a fierce debate surrounding a proposed Islamic community center two blocks from Manhattan’s ground zero, and opponents are becoming even more hostile and aggressive.

The construction site arson frightened members of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. Firefighters had said there was a strong smell of diesel from the fire that engulfed the cab of a dump truck last weekend, and authorities found fresh fuel pooled under a second dump truck, according to an incident report from the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department.

Still, authorities did not officially rule the fire an arson until laboratory tests on samples from the burned dump truck tested positive for accelerants.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and FBI is offering a $20,000 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Way to go, people. What an inspiring example of how the Religion of Love takes care of things.

Photo credit: AP Photo / The Daily News Journal, John A. Gillis.

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Lars Vilks, cartoonistJust a few days ago I blogged about Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks being attacked over his cartoons, which had depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a dog. Muslims enraged by his cartoons have decided to ratchet up both the violence and the immaturity, and tried to burn down his home. The CBC reports on this latest childish Muslim rampage (WebCite cached article):

The home of a Swedish artist whose 2007 drawing of the Prophet Muhammad offended Muslims has been subjected to a suspected arson attack after another incident in which he enraged Muslims.

Lars Vilks, from Nyhamnslage in southern Sweden, was not at home during the attack and no injuries were reported.

The attack failed, but Muslim anger over his Image by Lars Vilks published in Nerkes Allehanda“Muh-hund” cartoons appears not to have relented. As I promised in my previous entry on the subject, I will repost incendiary cartoons that have Muslims in a tizzy. As often as you people keep stamping and fuming over these cartoons, I will continue to repost them.

'Bombhead' cartoon by K. WestergaardMaybe someday you childish, raging Muslims will figure out what the Streisand effect is, and realize the best way to handle things that offend you is not to scream, holler, riot, attack, maim, burn and kill over them … but rather, to ignore them. Your fury only serves to call attention to things that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. It’s time for you all to grow up and figure that out.

Hat tip: AntiBible Project on Delphi Forums.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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