13 August 2012
An earlier fire at the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque on July 4, 2012 was deemed to be arson. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into the torching of a sign at the mosque; neither of the arsons was ever solved.
ICOM Coordinator Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg issued the following statement on behalf of the ICOM coalition
The destruction of the Joplin mosque, and the cold-blooded murder of American Sikhs at their house of worship, should be a wake-up call for all Americans. If the religious freedom of any American is under threat, then everyone’s religious liberty is as risk.
The United States draws its rich strength from the many faiths, religions, and ethnic groups that call the land of opportunity home and contribute to its betterment.
We urge relevant state and federal law enforcement officials to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the arson, and the destruction of the Joplin mosque, and to pursue hate crime charges if appropriate.
The Interfaith Coalition on Mosques was formed in 2010 and is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League to assist Muslim communities confronting biased opposition to the legal building, expansion or relocation of their mosques. It is comprised of prominent individuals and organizations from different faith traditions – Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Muslim and Jewish. Since its inception ICOM has conducted advocacy on behalf of five Muslim congregations, including the filing of three amicus briefs in state and federal courts.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.