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I Islamophobia

Hate speech slows mosque fire investigation, investigators say

By JANA ESCHBACH, For CBS 12, On 22 September 2016, Read Original
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Federal and local investigators have joined forces to help capture the arsonist who set fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, a local mosque on 9/11.

The torched remains were studied today in efforts to find leads by CSI teams.

But the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said they believe prejudices are delaying detectives from solving this case.

In fact, many people on Facebook and those driving by will yell “Burn it more!” - or even worse.

While investigators continue on this case, the vitriol locally and online against the Muslims here continues to escalate here again.

For worshippers here, it’s not a new occurrence to be targeted.

Before the flames took over late on 9-11- many have publicly petitioned to close this place down, even “burn it down,” since this was the place Omar Mateen, the Orlando Shooter, worshipped, as well as a second American turned terrorist- Moner Abu Salha, a jihadi who self-detonated for ISIS in Syria, from Vero Beach.

“It’s deplorable,” said Donna Iacona, a local resident at the mosque to bring flowers, " these are our friends and our neighbors."

Iacona brought the gift to show support and condemn the arson.

"I hope I'm not the only one,” Iacona said.

She isn’t.

There's a planned vigil of solidarity at the mosque Thursday at 7:30 p.m. to "show our Islamic neighbors that hate has no place in our community."

Vigil Details:

But this lack of respect or hate for Muslims is not just found in one man's mind. No. Comment after comment of hate on Facebook shows the sympathizers with the arsonist.

And they opine not private pages, but right on the St Lucie County Sheriff's Facebook Page.

They call the arson a “waste of good water, “or “a Scam.. used to recruit ISIS sympathizers.”

A person by the name googlePirate Vernon, speaks of hating all Muslims, "most don't realize the poison you bring in the name of a false God."

Another writes on the search for the biker arsonist, “Hopefully they will NEVER find him.”

Or, “I hope they saved the Goats,” and “How many innocent Americans have died in the hands of Muslims?”

“We need your help,” said Major David Thompson with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office or the many derogatory commenters, "regardless of personal beliefs this is a place of worship. An arsonist lighting this mosque on fire is not good for anyone. It’s not good for the community. It’s not good for America.”

We asked everyone who made a derogatory comment on the public page to defend their opinion on camera or in writing. Of course, not one of them responded.

As for the negative comments and slurs? The worshippers here say they already knew before the arson, in many people’s eyes, they have a target on them for being a Muslim in a post- 9/11 America.

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