Suspect in Mosque Burning “Hate Crime” Is Reportedly Muslim

920x920The fire on Christmas Day at a Houston mosque attracted national attention as the latest hate crime directed against Muslims. However, police yesterday arrested the man allegedly responsible and it turns out to be a regular at the mosque, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston.

Police say that Moore told investigators he has attended the mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week. While he claimed to be the last to leave the mosque at 2 p.m., he said that there was no smoke or fire.

MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, said he was unfamiliar with Moore.

We have often discussed the concerns over hate crimes in term of free speech and due process as well as its effectiveness. However, what if the mosque was torched by a Muslim. Is it still a hate crime or just a hoax?

Texas defines a hate crime as as crimes that are motivated by prejudice, hatred, or advocacy of violence. If it is true that the fire was set by a Muslim to appear like a hate crime, is it just arson?

Source: Chronicle

79 thoughts on “Suspect in Mosque Burning “Hate Crime” Is Reportedly Muslim”

  1. I’m going to go with my gut and tell you I disappointingly agree. I know the direction we are headed does not have a happy ending and I really have no expectation this electorate will or can do anything about it.

  2. Po,
    Having a culture that no longer bases good governance on our founding principles means you should not be surprised to get poll results such as you’ve cited. I guarantee that most of those polled do not believe other “beliefs” should be treated equally under the law.

    Intercollegiate Studies Institute ((ISI) has been studying civics literacy over the last 12 years and there is nothing in their results that would give one confidence the security of natural rights has a future any time soon.

    “So what does the entire body of ISI’s civic literacy research say about the current status of such enlightened citizenship?

    The answer to the first question is both simple and disheartening, “not very.” Let us review some of the major findings from ISI’s previous reports:

    ISI has surveyed over 28,000 undergraduates from over 80 separate colleges, and the average score on our basic 60-question civic literacy exam was about a 54%, an “F.”

    At elite schools like Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Duke, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins, their freshmen did better than their seniors on the same test, what ISI dubs “negative learning.”

    Among adults, those with a college degree also failed on average ISI’s civic literacy test, scoring little higher than their peers with a high school diploma.

    College-educated adults were particularly ignorant of the Founding and Civil War eras, constitutional themes, and the essential features of a market economy.

    The only conclusion one can draw from these findings is that a college degree falls short in “enlightening” its students in the fundamental aspects of American republicanism. And contrary to conventional wisdom, ISI’s research reveals that especially at elite schools, there is a significant disconnect between formal higher education on the one hand, and greater civic learning on the other.”

    1. True, Olly, but there is a chicken and egg thing going on that is not easily defined. From the moment there is threat of imbalance in the value of the natural rights between various groups, the lesser groups wish/demand that the state steps in to protect them. That is, as i said, the role of the state first and foremost.
      So as long as that need is there, I tell ya, there is no hope to regain the expression of our natural rights. The state thrives where conflict exists between the various groups that compose society…take a look at the black lives matters movement…as the name suggests, it is a movement that sprung out of the perceived need to protect the natural lives of a small segment of society, in their life, liberty and property.
      The reaction to it from the larger white society has been one of virulent antagonism for the BLM is seen to challenge their own natural rights (!)…which will force the state to intervene to insure blacks are safer in their natural rights, which means more regulation and more coercion to go around.

      Regarding college students, there is a cultural shift happening where natural rights just do not mean the same to everyone. Younger people are born into a society where the state is a manager of their natural rights, they are comfortable with it, and do not even see the need for the independence you are calling for.
      Civism no longer means the same either, we are a more tolerant society but one that is less individuals in a community and more a community of individuals. The idea of american republicanism means something totally different to them (and to immigrants) than it does to you…which is normal actually.

  3. As an addition to our running discussion on natural rights, Olly, and on the link you offered about the resolution condemning hate crimes against Muslims, here is something of note to support my argument:
    Associated Press |
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans place a higher priority on preserving the religious freedom of Christians than for other faith groups, ranking Muslims as the least deserving of the protections, according to a new survey.
    Solid majorities said it was extremely or very important for the U.S. to uphold religious freedom in general. However, the percentages varied dramatically when respondents were asked about specific faith traditions, according to a poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
    Eighty-two percent said religious liberty protections were important for Christians, compared with 61 percent who said the same for Muslims. About seven in 10 said preserving Jews’ religious freedom was important, while 67 percent said so of Mormons. People who identified with no religion were ranked about even with Muslims in needing support to live out their beliefs.

    Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, said the findings reflect deep divisions among Americans about the very definition of religious liberty, which has taken on newly politicized meanings in a time of debate over gay marriage and the threat from Islamic extremists.
    “Religious freedom is now in the eye of the beholder,” Haynes said. “People in different traditions, with different ideological commitments, define religious freedom differently.”

  4. Hildegard, I thought the same thing….he looks familiar. Sort of like a villainous Star Wars character?

  5. We’ve probably veered way off the subject, but looking at the ugly mug of “Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston”…. I swear I’ve seen this crises actor before.

  6. This place looks like a rented store in a strip mall, converted into a mosque, so I agree that there wouldn’t be a profit motive for this guy to torch it. I’m assuming that the police have evidence that they’re holding back, because based on what has been reported, the case looks dubious. Maybe he has lighter fluid on his hands or shoes; burns on his body, or smoke on his person or clothes. But without a motive, a conviction is possible but iffy. I’m wondering if a theological dispute could constitute a “hate” crime? Sunni vs. sh’ia…..for example? Or if he is a Black Muslim, a follower of Louis Farakkan’s Nation of Islam, perhaps he disagreed with whatever type of Islam was being practiced at the mosque. Supposedly the Nation of Islam had Malcolm X murdered because he was leading black Muslims away from that American interpretation of Islam and towards a more mainstream theology. But an intra-faith conflict wouldn’t likely support hate crime charges, such as a Methodust torching a Presbyterian church over religious disagreements. Fortunately we’ve never seen that type of intra-faith violence in the U.S. among Christians (or Jews). And most importantly for the defendant, he’s black, and blacks don’t get charged with hate crimes regardless of the evidence.

  7. I should say, when a prosecutor decides not to pursue criminal charges in an arson for profit case, that means there will be no criminal penalties when the case is handled civilly. All you can do is take away the profit motive when the case is handled in civil action. No one goes to prison.

  8. Arson is one of the most difficult cases to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In arson for insurance profit, the cases are almost always handled civilly. The police provide all their investigation to the insurance company, the insurance company denies the claim, and the arsonist then has to sue. At trial, the insurance company must just provide a preponderance of evidence that the claimant set the fire. Proving arson beyond a reasonable doubt is very difficult w/ few slam dunks. One slam dunk case I did work was when the torcher showed up @ a nearby ER w/ 2nd and 3rd degree burns on his arms and torso minutes after the fire was set @ his business. I have worked arson cases both criminally and civilly.

    There is no indication this is an arson for profit, but don’t for a minute think that does not occur in places of worship. There have been cases of alleged hate crimes against black churches that turned out to be arson for profit. it would surprise folks to know that almost 2 in 10 church fires are intentionally set! I have done work for a company that exclusively insures places of worship. Churches are businesses and when they are failing, sometimes the place conveniently has a fire, just like failing restaurants, corner grocery stores, etc. Chicago is a big place for arson and I learned much working there.

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