The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 8, 2012

Arson, vandalism at mosques not uncommon

JOPLIN, Mo. — Three suspicious fires within four years at the mosque west of Joplin are part of a national trend.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American-Islamic Relations have tracked dozens of fires, firebombings and incidents of vandalism at mosques around the country in recent years.

This week, the relations council, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, issued a “community safety advisory” for American mosques after a vandalism incident Sunday at a mosque in North Smithfield, R.I.

“We urge Muslim leaders nationwide to take immediate steps to boost security, particularly in the last 10 days of the ongoing fast of Ramadan, when religious activities at mosques reach their peak,” Nihad Awad, national executive director of the council, said in a statement.

Awad recommended that Muslims meet with local law enforcement and request more patrols near mosques, that mosques install video surveillance cameras, alarms and perimeter lighting, that they document any suspicious behavior and vehicles, and that they cooperate with neighborhood watch groups.

Among the attacks on mosques in the past two years have been these, according to the council:

• In July, a South Carolina mosque was vandalized when someone threw a large outdoor concrete ashtray through a window.

• In June, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the FBI to investigate a possible bias motive for a fire and hate graffiti targeting a building associated with a Dearborn mosque.

• In April, someone threw a rock through a rear window of the Bab E Mustafa Community Center in the Riverview area of Baltimore County, Md.

• In January, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the FBI and local law enforcement to investigate vandalism targeting a mosque under construction in Virginia. Vandals smashed glass in windows and doors of the Chantilly mosque, causing an estimated $60,000 in damage.

• A mosque in Queens, N.Y., was firebombed in January with worshippers inside. There were no injuries.

• An Oct. 31, 2011, arson fire at a mosque in Wichita, Kan., caused an estimated $120,000 in damage.

• An arson attack on a Houston, Texas, mosque was reported in May 2011.

• In April 2011, someone burned three copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and left a threatening letter near the entrance of the Islamic Center of Springfield, Mo., mosque. The anonymous letter claimed that Muslims would “stain the earth” and that Islam wouldn’t survive.

• A fire at a Kansas City mosque in February 2011 was termed “suspicious.”

• Construction equipment was set afire at the site of a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, Tenn., in August 2010.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0420earthday.jpg Prairie State Park kicks off Earth Day events

    Prairie State Park began celebrating Earth Day early with an event Saturday that provided a chance for people of all ages to learn more about how they can protect the environment.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Catholic schools to hold annual spring auction

    The Joplin Area Catholic Schools spring auction will be staged Saturday at the Jack Lawton Webb Convention Center, 5300 S. Range Line Road in Joplin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Wally Kennedy MUG72.jpg Wally Kennedy: Another pizza choice and ice cream on the way

    A new pizza restaurant is coming to the northwest corner of Stone’s Corner in the Village of Airport Drive. Piez is opening this week in a storefront that formerly housed Quincy Magoo’s, 6039 N. Main Street Road, which has been closed for more than two years.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • mike pound_cnhi .jpg Mike Pound: No more hiding Easter eggs or emotions

    Well, that’s a wrap on the Easter egg hunts. For about 15 years we have staged not one, but two Easter egg hunts for our now 16-year-old daughter, Emma.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri Republicans are considering a new approach to prevent federal agents from enforcing laws the state considers to be infringements on gun rights: barring them from future careers in state law enforcement agencies. Do you think this proposal has merit?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter