Missouri Islamic Center Burned To The Ground In Possible Hate Crime

An Islamic Center in Joplin, Missouri went up in flames on Monday morning and has been completely devastated. The destruction of the Islamic Society of Joplin comes a day after a white supremacist killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

According to the Associated Press,

“Authorities sifted through the black debris Monday. Only remnants indicated a building had been there, including some stone pillars that were still standing and a few pieces of charred plywood loosely held up by a frame. At least a dozen law enforcement vehicles and a fire truck were at the scene… About 50 families belong to the Islamic Society of Joplin, which opened in 2007 as a mosque and community center. The FBI led an investigation in 2008 when the mosque’s sign was torched. That crime also remained unsolved.”

Although no one was injured in the fire, it was the second such blaze to strike the mosque in just over a month. On July 4th, the Islamic Society of Joplin was the victim of arson when an unidentified man set the center on fire. That fire was extinguished and only caused minor damage. Authorities, including the FBI, are still looking for the arsonist who was caught on camera. Unfortunately for the Islamic center in Monday’s fire, the video cameras were also destroyed.

Could this blaze be the result of a hate crime? Anti-Muslim fervor has been running high in this country since 9/11 and conservatives have been falsely accusing President Obama of being a Muslim, which has increased the hate. Conservatives also fear the make-believe conspiracy that Sharia law is taking root in America. All of that, plus the fact that the mosque had already been set on fire twice, it certainly does look to be a hate crime against Muslims.

Despite that, Imam Lahmuddin, the leader of the mosque, is calling on Muslims to not retaliate and to be patient while authorities do their job.

“I’m still in front of the building looking at the damage and nothing can be saved,” Lahmuddin said. “But since we are people of faith we just can remember that this is a thing that happened because God let it happen, and we have to be patient, particularly in the month of Ramadan, control our emotions, our anger.”

A statement of peace from those whom conservatives refer to as terrorists.