The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 13, 2012

Plan for rally to support Joplin Muslims in place

Organizers say funds to put it on still lacking

JOPLIN, Mo. — Planning for a rally to support local Muslims after the fire a week ago that destroyed the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque is coming together.

But lack of contributions has put it in jeopardy, said organizer Ashley Carter, an Ozark Christian College student.

The mosque at 1302 S. Black Cat Road was destroyed by a fire on Aug. 6 The fire has been characterized as “suspicious” by the FBI, which is investigating with local law enforcement. A fire on July 4 that caused minor damage to the roof was determined to be arson, as was a fire in 2008 that burned the sign for the mosque.

The mosque served about 50 Joplin families.

“Neighbors - Joplin Mosque Rally” is scheduled for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, in Landreth Park.

Carter said the event is seeking nearly $3,000 by Wednesday for insurance and rent for the event. People may contribute through a PayPal account on the event’s Facebook page. People also may find the page by entering “Neighbors — Joplin Mosque Rally” into a search engine.

Carter said that other than that, planning for the event was coming together. She has secured speakers including Hina Qidwai, with the Islamic Society of Joplin; Sara Berry, a local Starbucks manager; and Rick Love, president of Peace Catalyst International.

Entertainers lined up include Kaitlin Curtice, Eine Blume and Adam Francis, with disc jockey services provided by Old School Sound Machine. All have local ties. Carter said Monday she had just received a commitment from The Kominas, a Muslim rock band from New York City.

Travis Curtis will be the master of ceremonies.

Carter said it was discouraging that the event hadn’t yet raised the money to produce the rally, but that everything else was working out.

“It’s all kind of coming together,” she said. “Overall, it’s really a miracle, because I’m the most disorganized person you can meet.”

She said she already has seen positive results and relationships develop just from the planning of the rally.

“It’s a blessing, “ she said.

On a separate front, an online fundraiser to help the Islamic Society of Joplin rebuild its mosque had surpassed $350,000 by noon Monday and continues to grow.

The site of the online fundraiser is, and it has attracted worldwide attention. The original goal was $250,000. Of the nearly 3,000 contributors as of Monday morning, 344 had contributed at least $250. Contributions have come from as far away as Indonesia, Singapore, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

“While we have reached and surpassed our original goal, we are appreciative of additional donations,” reads a note on the website. “All funds will be used for rebuilding our center and adding features that enhance safety, serve the surrounding community and increase access.”

Kimberly Kester, a member and spokeswoman for the local Islamic Society, has said that although the mosque was insured, rebuilding will cost more than insurance will pay, and that there will be other changes, including enhanced security and a playground, when it is rebuilt. Mosque officials have said they are not sure whether they will rebuild on the existing site just west of Joplin or at a site inside the city.

Want to donate?

DONATIONS ALSO MAY BE SENT to the Islamic Society of Joplin, P.O. Box 3164, Joplin, MO 64803, or donated through an account set up with Commerce Bank in Joplin. All donations are tax-deductible.

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