Fire destroys Missouri mosque – 2nd blaze at the same center in 5 weeks


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

A mosque in southwest Missouri burned to the ground early Monday in the second fire to hit the Islamic center in little more than a month, and investigators spent the day combing through the wreckage searching for evidence of arson.

No injuries were reported, but the Islamic Society of Joplin’s building was a total loss after the blaze…the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office said. As of late Monday, nobody had been arrested in connection with the fire.

Either fire.

Investigators from the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Jasper County Sheriff’s department were at the scene all day Monday, moving the rubble with a bulldozer and other equipment…

While investigators did their work, a small group of Muslims gathered for an evening prayer on the lawn of the destroyed building.

“This is what we stand for,” said Dr. Ahmed Asadullah, a member of the Islamic Society of Joplin. “Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech…”

Theoretically, that’s what all Americans stand for. Theoretically.

…A fire reported…July 4 has been determined to be arson, but no charges have been filed. The FBI has released a video of a suspect caught on surveillance video and offered a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in that fire.

Michael Kaste, special agent in charge of the Kansas City office of the FBI…said it was too early to say if there was surveillance video available from the Monday fire. The Jasper County Sheriff’s office said earlier Monday the video equipment had been destroyed. The FBI was encouraging anyone with information about either fire to call authorities…

A local Christian church has offered the use of their church to the Muslim congregation while they sort out what it’s like to belong to a religion in America that’s obviously not acceptable to some local bigots.

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