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Interfaith, civil rights leaders gather in St. Louis to show support for Joplin's Islamic community

(Jennifer Davidson/KSMU)

Interfaith and civil rights leaders gathered in Ballwin this morning to show support for the congregation of the Islamic Society of Joplin, which was destroyed by a suspicious fire earlier this month.

Although the FBI is still investigating the cause, the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person that set the fire.

CAIR’s St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed says in the last 12 days there have been several attacks on Muslim communities. He blames an atmosphere of hate created by members on the fringe.

“And also it’s perpetuated by politicians, by some media outlets and other sources,” said Syed. “And we want to raise awareness that these types of hate rhetoric is fueling action on the ground against the Muslim population and, of course, you remember the Sikh population as well inside the U.S. And we are against it and we condemn that completely.”

This is the third time the Islamic community in Joplin has had to deal with fire on its property. On July 4, a man was caught on camera throwing a burning object onto the mosque’s roof.

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