While the rest of the country commemorates 9/11 with mandatory jingoism and affronts to free speech, an unidentified assailant set fire to a mosque in Florida last night that was once attended by Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen.
“Video captured at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center shows an individual approached the east side of the building just moments before a flash is seen and the fire starts,” according to a statement on Facebook. “The Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this as an arson with the assistance of the St. Lucie County Fire District, the Florida State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.”
You may recall that Omar Mateen was already on the radar of federal authorities before he assaulted the nightclub and the reason for that is because his former Imam alerted authorities to his increasingly radical behavior. Those closest to him in the Muslim community did exactly what we ask them to do and yet that didn't stop some asshole from setting their mosque on fire.
In case it wasn't already evident, I've become increasingly disgusted by the annual ritual we go through this time each year, and it seems to be getting worse. Every trip down memory lane on September 11th increasingly feels like a throwback to 2003 rather than 2001. This was especially apparent this year as football players were condemned for kneeling or raising their fists in solidarity during the national anthem because they want African-Americans and other people of color to be treated equally by the law.
President Obama was booed at several games yesterday when his video message commemorating the anniversary was played. If President Bush was booed in 2003, the game would have been cancelled.
All of this is undoubtedly connected to the rise of Donald Trump. A wave of hate crimes follow in his wake.