Due to a tremendous show of support, members of the Islamic Society of Joplin's fire-ravaged mosque in just a few days have received over $180,000 in donations toward their rebuilding goal of $250,000.
While the mosque was insured, an Islamic Society representative says the amount is not enough to cover the cost of rebuilding, especially with the added security and fire alarm systems that need to be installed. Any excess would be used towards improvements like using more fire retardant materials, adding a basement to be used as a tornado shelter and creating a playground for the children. The group has considered relocating the mosque to within the city limits for added safety but no decision regarding this move has been made.
A rally to support the rebuilding effort has been organized by Ashley Carter, 20, a student at Ozark Christian College. "Neighbors" the Joplin Mosque Rally will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, from 6:30-11:30 p.m. at Landreth Park in Joplin. Attendees are asked to bring a picnic supper and a blanket or seating. The event is free to the public to encourage more people to come together. Several local bands including One Finger Discount, Axios, Adam Francis have pledged to provide entertainment.
While Joplin recently was not chosen for the "friendliest city" in a contest sponsored by Rand McNally, this event, according to many who plan to attend, epitomizes the desire of people of different beliefs and walks of life to come together in shared love and compassion.
Connie Schull in a Facebook comment said, "hope there is a huge turnout. first of all to show our Islamic neighbors that not all of us are hateful idiots and secondly to show the creep who did this that we all think they are scum!"
A website has been set up to pledge a contribution to rebuild the Joplin mosque. Any amount is appreciated. For $250 or more the donor's name will be included on a plaque that will grace the new mosque. Go here.