Missouri mosque burnt to the ground
Less than 24 hours after the horrifying news of a gunman assaulting a Sikh gurdwara yesterday, a mosque in Joplin, southwest Missouri, was set ablaze and burnt to the ground in a suspected arson attack early on Monday morning.
Fire-fighters were called to the building at 3.30am, but by the time the emergency services arrived the fire had reportedly already taken hold of the building. The fire at the Islamic Centre of Joplin has severely damaged the building, and has been described as “a total loss” by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office. Spokesperson Sharon Rhine stated that the building was “completely destroyed, along with the security cameras”.
The mosque, which has fifty families regularly attending it, has been attacked in the past. In early July, barely five weeks ago, the mosque suffered a previous arson attack – reportedly also at 3.30am. The FBI stated in July that security surveillance caught “an unidentified white male walking up to the building and throwing an ignited object onto the roof”.
At the time of both blazes the mosque was empty, meaning there were no casualties. The FBI is currently investigating the cause of the current inferno, although the events over the last two days imply religiously motivated violence.