MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) -- A suspicious fire that damaged construction equipment at the site of a future mosque in Tennessee has some local Muslims worried they are being dragged into the debate over a proposed Islamic community center near Manhattan's ground zero.
Police say four pieces of equipment at the future site of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro were doused with an accelerant and one set ablaze early Saturday morning.
The site is now being patrolled at all hours by the sheriff's department.
One of the Muslim leaders of the project said he has lived in the area for almost 30 years and never had trouble because of his faith, even after 9/11.
Essam Fathy believes the fire could be the work of people outside the community.