The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 8, 2012

Muslim group asks Joplin to renew spirit that responded to tornado in its response to mosque fire

JOPLIN, Mo. — Representatives from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and local Muslims held a news conference today, asking Joplin residents to renew the spirit shown following the 2011 tornado in responding to the fire that destroyed the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque.

The mosque was destroyed in a fire reported around 3:30 a.m. Monday. Authorites have labeled the fire “suspicious.” A July 4 fire at the mosque was labeled an arson. Around 30 FBI agents are pursuing the case.

Nihad Awad, executive director for CAIR, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., said he wanted to reaffirm the organization’s admiration for the spirit of Joplin, that has “shown the best of what America is” in its response to the tornado.

“In that spirit, we’re coming together,” he said. “Joplin should be united. Joplin should not let anyone divide it.”

An iftar dinner, breaking the daily Ramadan fast, is planned for tonight at St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church with the program beginning at 7:30 p.m.


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