Fire destroyed this Islamic house of worship in just a short period of time.
But the destruction here may have been caused by something more permanent and incendiary in someone’s heart – HATE.
It is the second time the Joplin Missouri mosque has been targeted in as many months.
The first attack in July caused damage but left the building intact. This time the destruction was absolute.
Imam Talib Abdur Rahib is President of the Islamic Leadership council of New York.
He says he is troubled that these attacks are signaling a dangerous turn in the level of intolerance in American society.
Several mosques have been the target of hate crimes over the last year.
In January a Shia Mosque in New York was firebombed – no one was hurt.
After the first torching of the Joplin Mosque this picture of the person believes to be responsible was released but no- one was charged.
The Council on American Islamic relations has offered a ten thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of the people or person behind this latest act of terrorism.
The second fire at the Missouri mosque comes just a few days after a gunman with racist neo Nazi ties walked into a Sikh temple and killed 6 people and injured 3 before himself being killed by police.
Authorities suggest the gunman through the internet, was urging others who harbor hate against other cultures to quote “get involved and become active” While no connection has been made between the two incidents American Muslims are concerned.
While worshippers will have to rebuild from scratch and despite their loss and heartbreak they say they too are offering something for whomever is behind this act of hate and that is forgiveness.
(www.youtube.com / 08.08.2012)