"Nothing to see here, move along".
A mosque in Dayton, OH, was attacked Saturday, in an act that was obviously motivated by hatred and triggered by the distribution of the DVD "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West", an anti-Muslim screed promoted by McCain campaign supporters. Obviously, that is, to anyone but some clueless twit on the Dayton Police force.
Now, I oppose the idea of attaching extra penalties to a criminal act if the perpetrator is motivated by hate. Punishing someone more for doing something because they felt passionate about it rather than dispassionate doesn't make sense to me. But if you're going to have these types of laws on the books, exactly what is it about launching a chemical assault on children and infants based solely on their religious affiliation that doesn't apply?
Oh, and the careful word selection in the stories is not surprising, either. It's chemical "irritant", not agent or weapon. The men "sprayed a chemical into the mosque", they didn't "attack the mosque". And, of course, the word "terrorist" would never be used.
Imagine if a 10-year old Christian girl were sprayed in the face at church by two Arabic men during Advent. How much howling and outrage would there be? What kind of flashy graphics and 24-hour update crawls would accompany our newscasts for the next week?. Of course these are just little brown Muslim people: they don't count.