Quantcast

Cause of Joplin mosque fire is under investigation - KOAM TV 7

Arson not ruled out

Cause of Joplin mosque fire is under investigation

Posted: Updated: Aug 6, 2012 05:10 PM

Authorities say it's to early to tell how an early morning fire started at a Joplin, Missouri mosque.  The fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin is receiving attention from Islamic organizations across the country looking for answers.

In a news conference this afternoon authorities said they have yet to determine the cause of the fire.  In case the incident is ruled an arson, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has brought around 30 extra agents from Kansas City to Joplin.  Also, if ruled an arson, a $15,000 reward from a July 4 incident would extend to this morning's fire as well.

The Council on American Islamic Relations is already offering a $10,000 reward for leading information to what caused today's fire.

Make a donation to the Islamic Society of Joplin
Mail a check payable to "The Islamic Society of Joplin" to:

The Islamic Society of Joplin
PO Box 3164
Joplin, MO 64803

or

Commerce Bank
211 Main Street
Joplin, MO 64801

Members will continue to pray and hope
While the month of Ramadan continues, even though they no longer have a place to worship, a leader of the Joplin Islamic Center says friends and family will continue to pray together five times a day.

"We remember what God says in our scripture, everything belongs to God and everything will return to Him," says Imam Lahmuddin.  "He has loaned this place to us for more than four years and he take it back.  Maybe he will replace our place with a new and better place, we don't know.  But that is the hope and that is the promise."

About 50 families belong to the mosque, which opened in 2007.

A total loss
Fire crews were called to a fire this morning at around 3:30 a.m. at the Islamic Center of Joplin on 1302 South Black Cat Road.  Crews were on the scene within 10 to 15 minutes, but the building is a total loss.

"On a normal day I close the door and close the gate and I expected to return the next morning at 5 o'clock to do the morning prayer," says Imam Lahmuddin.  "But unfortunately, at 3:50 this morning I got a call and I sensed something bad and I drove by to see what happened and I saw the fire, all over the building."

"I'm incredibly saddened to hear about the fire that destroyed the Joplin mosque this morning," U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says in a statement released to the media.  "If it turns out that this situation involves arson once again, this kind of action is absolutely unacceptable."

There were no injuries in today's fire.

Not the first fire
On July 4, 2012 a man threw an ignited object onto the roof of the building.  The Center's security cameras caught the act on video but the suspect has not been arrested.  Authorities have put a full-time investigator on that case.  A $15,000 reward has also been offered for any information regarding the July 4 fire.

"We can see that very clearly, he did throw the fire on the roof to set fire to the building, on purpose I believe," says Imam Lahmuddin.  "But this time we don't have any cameras.  All the cameras got burned, all the footage got burned, so we don't have anything to give to the authorities in the investigation."

In 2008, a year after the center opened, the Center's sign was set on fire.  Authorities say someone has shot the new sign with an air gun and that motorists have driven by yelling slurs at members of the Center, including children.

The Council on American Islamic Relations says that just recently crimes committed towards Islam, Muslim and Sikh have increased.

"Within the last couple of years, particularly following the controversy over the Park 51 Muslim Community Center in Manhattan that we've seen a real spike in anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society," says Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations.

  • Lindsey HenryMore>>

  • Former Crawford County 911 director sentenced to probation

    Former Crawford County 911 director sentenced to probation

    The former Crawford County 911 director and a Pittsburg business owner have each been sentenced to two years of probation for alleged mail and wire fraud. John Gagliardo and George Washington, of Washington Electronics, had been indicted in a bid scheme for municipal contracts.More >>
    The former Crawford County 911 director and a Pittsburg business owner have each been sentenced to two years of probation for alleged mail and wire fraud. John Gagliardo and George Washington, of Washington Electronics, had been indicted in a bid scheme for municipal contracts.More >>
  • Meet the family behind Joplin's bird tree

    Meet the family behind Joplin's bird tree

    June 28, 2013 03:01 PM 2013-08-14 14:30:36 GMT
    The family that feeds the famous bird tree off 20th Street in Joplin has come out of the woodwork. In late August of last year Eldon and Rudy Howery decided to make a home for all the birds that lostMore >>
    A little more than a year after the May 22, 2011 tornado one of the few trees remaining in the area of 20th Street suddenly became decorated with paint and bird feeders. The experiment started slow.

    "When we first started this project we thought 'well - useless, nothing coming,'" Eldon Howery says.  "But in about two or three weeks here they come and they've been here ever since."
    More >>
  • Scout pole hauled from Parsons to National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia

    Scout pole hauled from Parsons to National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia

    Tuesday, July 9 2013 4:05 PM EDT2013-07-09 20:05:49 GMT
    With the National Boy Scout Jamboree starting in a few days two Parsons, Kansas men are heading to West Virginia, but they aren't just hauling their bags.  They're also taking a 1,600 pound log that'sMore >>
    Two Parsons, Kansas men will be hauling a 1,600 pound log over the next few days to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia. The transformation of the scout pole began in Parsons and will be finished at the Jamboree.More >>
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Local author publishes fiction book based on real life experiences

    Local author publishes fiction book based on real life experiences

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:01:09 GMT
    A new book written by a local woman targets issues that many are afraid to discuss.More >>
    A new book written by a local woman targets issues that many are afraid to discuss.More >>
  • At least 4 new businesses are heading to downtown Joplin

    At least 4 new businesses are heading to downtown Joplin

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:00:02 GMT
    Downtown Joplin has gained several new businesses in the past month and even more are coming.More >>
    Downtown Joplin has gained several new businesses in the past month and even more are coming.More >>
  • Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Carthage plant bringing 160 jobs to the area

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:20:41 GMT
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
    A Carthage, Missouri cheese plant has begun an expansion project that will bring jobs to the area. Schreiber Foods says the 29,000 foot expansion will add 160 jobs to the plant. The plant will also re-purpose 67,000 square feet to install material handling and storage capacity for cheese, ingredients and packaging materials.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.