The Joplin Globe
It’s been a little more than a year since Joplin emerged from one of history’s worst tornadoes. The town’s name is now synonymous with words like “hope,” “courage” and “guts.”
But on Monday, our good city’s name was being linked with another word. Some called it “hate.”
But, don’t call it Joplin. We are better than that.
Investigators carefully characterize the fire at Joplin’s only mosque as “suspicious.” Rewards are being offered, and an image of a man, caught on video on July 4 trying to set the mosque on fire then, is being circulated. The FBI has 30 agents in Joplin. It’s obvious authorities believe the house of worship was targeted.
The 50 families served by the place of worship are in deep pain because of a malicious act.
We are better than that. We’ve proved that before.
Now, we must do it again.
The world watched and marveled as our community stepped up to help our neighbors after the tornado.
Now, we must pull together to help our neighbors again.
The perpetrator meant to send a message with this crime, but as a city we can send one right back.
This was an attack not on a mosque, but on our fellow residents. Our friends. Our neighbors.
Paul Teverow, with the United Hebrew Congregation, told the Globe on Monday that the burning of the mosque was a threat to all living in our midst.
“The people of Joplin should share the same sense of outrage,” he told us.
Today, we call on members of the Joplin area to reach out to Joplin’s Muslim congregation with their support, with their prayers and with their contributions.