Whoever decided to set fire to a mosque once frequented by Somali-born teen terror suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud is trapped in the same mind-set as he is. Terrorism is terrorism.
Anger on Sunday over a Somali-born teen's failed plan to blow up a van full of explosives during Portland's Christmas tree lighting ceremony apparently erupted in arson on Sunday when a fire damaged an Islamic center once frequented by the suspect, authorities said.
Police don't know who started the blaze or exactly why, but they believe the mosque was targeted because terror suspect Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, occasionally worshipped there.
The fire at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center was reported at 2:15 a.m., and "quite a bit of evidence" at the scene led authorities believe it was set intentionally, said Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer for the Corvallis Fire Department. No one was injured in the blaze, which did not damage any worship areas and was contained to one room, said Yosof Wanly, imam at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center.
"We know how it is, we know some people due to ignorance are going to perceive of these things and hold most Muslims accountable," Wanly said, responding to the blaze. "We do what we can, but it's a tough situation."
Sheryl Huggins Salomon is senior editor-at-large of The Root and a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based editorial consultant. Follow her on Twitter.