The call came in to the Columbia, Tennessee 911 call center at 5:20 on the morning of February 9. A fire was raging at the Islamic Center. When local police arrived a few minutes later, they found the broken glass of a door and heavy dark smoke billowing out of a broken window. At the scene, the officers also discovered a black swastika painted on the front of the building, along with two black swastikas and "We run the wold" (sic) and "White Power" painted on the side.
Later the same day, law enforcement officers arrested three local residents: Eric Ian Baker, 32, Michael Corey Golden, 23, and Jonathan Edward Stone, 19. The three men are accused of using empty beer bottles filled with gasoline and rags to set fire to the storefront mosque. They face federal charges of unlawful possession of a destructive device and state charges of arson.
According to the criminal complaint filed in federal court, at least two of the perpetrators of the arson and vandalism of the mosque were Christian Identity Movement adherents. (See the affidavit here.)
Christian Identity is a racist and anti-Semitic religious doctrine which teaches that European whites and their American descendants are the Biblical "chosen people,” while Jews are the literal descendants of Satan and that people of color are subhuman. It has been the theological glue binding together neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan devotees, militia members and others into the white nationalist movement.
For those wishing to donate to the rebuilding fund for the mosque...
Community First Bank and Trust
501 S James Campbell Blvd.
Columbia, TN 38401
Islamic Center of Columbia Rebuilding Fund
Account Number: 0026123
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