Georgia: Investigation into Arson, Hate Crime against Marietta Mosque
On July 6, 2010, Marietta, Georgia local news media outlets are reporting on what is being described as a “suspicious fire” at the Marietta mosque, stating that the fire is being investigated to determine if it was arson. Late Tuesday morning, Marietta Fire Marshal Scott Tucker told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “It appears to be a crime, it appears to be an arson… There was forcible entry.” An updated report from Marietta television station WSBTV also states that “Fire officials said authorities believe a fire at a Marietta mosque was arson and they are investigating it as a possible hate crime.” The police are also investigating vandalism inside the mosque, but have not yet released information about the type of vandalism.
The Marietta mosque that was damaged by fire is on Powder Springs Street in Marietta, Georgia. The Masjid Al-Hedaya describes its location as on Powder Springs Street in Marietta, Georgia. WSB radio reported the fire as “The fire was reported shortly after 11 p.m. Monday at Masjid Al-hedaya on Powder Springs Street in Marietta. The building is also known as the Islamic Center of Marietta.”
WSBTV also reported on this fire. The fire started after the last prayer session. Reports state that damage to the mosque is “extensive.” According to reports, the fire destroyed the front entrance and did significant damage to the main prayer hall. The local imam Hafiz Inayatullah told WSBTV that “We locked the door and everything and we left and suddenly he called me and said, ‘There’s fire’.”
On June 15, 2010, the Marietta Daily Journal published a column by a writer warning about the construction of mosques in the United States.
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) urges all to assist law enforcement agencies in their investigation. If this fire was the result of arson, we urge that all Americans help law enforcement agencies to aid in identifying those responsible. Our universal human rights include our freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship for all people. We urge all to Choose Love, Not Hate – Love Wins.