There is speculation in Nashville that an investigative report done by WTVF led to the recent vandalism of a local mosque.
On Sunday and Monday, WTVF, a Landmark Media-owned CBS-affiliate, ran a two-part investigation into a Muslim community in rural Stewart County that had been cited as a potential terrorist training ground. On early Wednesday morning, vandalism was discovered at the Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Nashville.
The words “Muslims Go Home,” as well as a series of crosses, were spray painted on the side of the Al-Farooq Islamic Center. Metro Nashville Police Sgt. Brooks Harris told the Associated Press that it was the first attack on the mosque. Brooks also said that the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had been notified.
WTVF’s exclusive investigation centered on a Muslim community called Islamville which had been listed as a potential terrorist training ground in a video produced by PRB Films and the Christian Action Network. WTVF’s reporter Nick Beres visited Islamville, becoming, as anchor Vicki Yates put it, “one of the first reporters ever to set foot inside the place.”
Beres took a tour through Islamville and spoke to members of the community. After making his way through the rural township, Beres commented, “Frankly, there was not much to see.” Beres surveyed the community’s small mosque in which pray is conducted five times per day and the WTVF news helicopter captured video of children playing soccer.
Finishing the report, Beres said that there had been no reports from Islamville’s neighbors of “unexplained gunshots or explosions.” Yates added, “Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, polls indicate that Muslims face more discrimination in the U.S. than any other major religious group.”
Salaad Nur, a spokesman for Al-Farooq, told the Nashville Scene that the vandalism was unexpected. “The only thing I can think of is the sensationalized reporting [by Channel 5] over Sunday and Monday,” he said. “That’s the only thing I can think of. Even after 9/11 we have never had any vandalism.”