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Islamic Center of Greater Toledo Targeted by Arsonist

Suspect in Toledo Center Fire

The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo was targeted by arsonists according to investigators. Not much else has been revealed about the attack, but one must question whether this arson attack is part of the larger pattern of hate crimes that we have witnessed over the past several years targeting Muslim places of worship.:

Investigators say fire at Ohio mosque was arson

Investigators say a fire inside a landmark mosque in Ohio was intentionally set.

Little information was being released Monday about the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

The blaze broke out Sunday and caused both smoke and water damage on the second floor of the mosque that sits along Interstate 75 near Toledo.

The building’s gold dome is visible for miles and is a landmark in northwest Ohio.

Associated Press, 1 October 2012

See also “Local mosque fire ruled arson”, Toledo Blade, 2 October 2012

People for the American Way has an info-graphic that gives a visual representation of attacks on mosques in the USA, highlighting that the phenomenon of hate attacks is spread across the country:

UPDATE I: Arrest Made Near Ft. Wayne, Ind., in Islamic Center Arson

Toledo Blade

Authorities confirmed today that an arrest has been made in the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sunday.

The arrest was made late today near Fort Wayne, Ind., and is reported by authorities to be the person of interest that was captured by a surveillance camera outside the center, 25877 Scheider Rd.

“We believe the person in the photos is the person we have in custody,” said Shane Cartmill, spokesman for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Additional details on the arrest were not immediately available.

Crews responded to the fire shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday. It was ruled an arson case on Monday. Police Sgt. James Gross said earlier today that investigators have finished their investigation inside the center and turned over results to center administrators on Monday.

He also said investigators do not yet know if the motive for the fire was religion based.

“Even if we did know we wouldn’t be releasing that,” Sergeant Gross said. “There’s no indication of that right now…”

Several people did a walk-through of the center on Monday and were inside again on Tuesday to do an evaluation of damage, Sergeant Gross said.

Officials have said most of the damage — primarily smoke and water — was on the second floor in the prayer room. A damage estimate has not been released.

The center remained closed on Tuesday and there was no indication when it might reopen.

UPDATE II: Suspect Named and Arrested

(NorthwestOhio.com)

According to a source with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office, an arrest has been made in connection to Sunday’s arson at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

A detective with Perrysburg Township Police would only say the investigation is “continuing” and would not name the suspect.

However, the Toledo Blade was able to obtain the name from Indiana authorities.

The paper says the accused arsonist is 52-year-old Randy T. Linn of St. Joe, Indiana.

Linn has now been charged with two counts of arson, and one count each of aggravated burglary as well as carrying a concealed weapon.

The suspect was picked up Tuesday afternoon near Fort Wayne, Indiana.

On Monday night, Police released three surveillance photos of a “person of interest” in the case.

Shane Cartmill, state fire marshal spokesman, told the Toledo Blade that Linn is the person in those images.

UPDATE III: Ind. man charged with hate crime in OH mosque fire

PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they’ve filed hate-crimes charges against an Indiana man suspected of starting a fire that damaged a landmark mosque in northwest Ohio.

They said Friday that charges filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo allege Randolph Linn of St. Joe intentionally damaged property because of its religious character and used fire and explosives to commit a felony.

Authorities say they found a plastic gas can in the middle of the prayer room damaged by the Sunday blaze at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

They say a woman who identified the 52-year-old Linn on surveillance video told authorities he’d recently made anti-Muslim comments referencing an anti-Islam video and recent attacks on U.S. embassies.

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  • Christian-Friend

    @Isabella, correct me if I’m wrong, but are you saying Islam contradicts Christianity?

  • Dehnus

    @Issabella
    Seriously I guess you are an oversensitive Katholic or Born again… but not all Christians beleive in the Trinity. There are Christians that beleive in just one God. Newton was one of them for instance.

    Now there are several ways, ranging from Jesus as a Prophet until Jesus as God himself, to interpret it according to these denominatinos in Christianity. But they all see the the Trinity thinking as a bad thing.

    So please do not claim your version of Christianity is the only one.

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  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com AJ

    @Kareem,

    Great comment!

  • Kareem

    @isabella
    I’m offended by the fact that you assosciate Jesus as a partner to the most merciful.
    I’m offended by you calling Jesus god.
    I’m offended by you saying that only those believe in trinity goes to paradise.
    I’m offended when someone spread lies.
    But i learned to live with it. You should too.

  • Siwi

    @Isabella,

    Quran condemn those who choose – by their own will – to believe that God is ‘one of the three’.

    On the other hand, God of Christianity condemn all mankind including yourself for no reason except being born as a human being. Thanks to the original sin. Therefore you must accept this rather cruel God and bear its consequences for the rest of your life in order to save yourself from his punishment in the first place.

    Logically, one had more reason to be offended by a God who condemn you for something you didn’t do, than by a God who condemn you for certain choice you made by your own will.

  • Garibaldi

    Wow…heavy theological debates on a Thursday morning.

    I’d weigh in here but find the whole premise sort of absurd…It highlights the fact that when one approaches reading a religious texts (or any text for that matter), some initial intentions have already arrived at a pre-judged conclusion.

  • Just Stopping By

    @Ilisha:

    And I love debating/discussing with you.

    In part, it’s because, in addition to the characteristics you mentioned that I believe apply to both of us, I think that we are willing to revisit our views. You said above that you might have misunderstood SGP and I said that I misunderstood you. Too many people view these discussions as a version of a formal debate in which the sole goals are to defend the views they started with and to attack opposing views and people so as to discredit those opposing views. I think both of us are willing to marshal arguments for our views, but also to take other opinions seriously and change our views when necessary.

    As I mentioned on another thread to Solid Snake, I’m happy to have a discussion with him (?) on a topic, but I am a very selfish discussant. I think that learning more and improving my understanding and my views are more important than convincing others to adopt my position on an issue. So, unless you are secretly someone such as a top religious or political figure whose views I would want to change because you affect policy, I think that my selfishness makes me a good debating partner. 😉

  • Ilisha

    @Michael Elwood

    I understand very well, because I tend get drawn in to debates as well. I don’t mind if they’re sincere, like my discussion with JSB, but if I realize I’m chasing my tail with a troll, I try to quickly exit the loop.

    The trick is telling the difference, I suppose.

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