The Analyzer (acmeeoy) wrote in ontd_political,
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Corvallis Shows Support For Fire-Damaged Mosque

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The community of Corvallis is rallying around Muslims after an apparent arson attack against a mosque. The teenager accused of trying to set off a bomb in Portland occasionally worshipped there. But Corvallis Muslims denounced the alleged plot, and Corvallis residents are showing their support.

Chris Lehman: "I'm standing in the burnt-out office of the Salman-Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis. The walls, the floor, the ceiling all charred black in the aftermath of a suspected arson blaze. The window is broken is out. The smell of smoke lingers in the air."

The fire was contained to this office. Inside the worship area, prayers continue. Outside, Corvallis residents drop by with gifts of flowers, cards and cash. Jan Lahr brought a bouquet. She says she doesn't want Muslims in her town to live in fear.

Jan Lahr: "This mosque is a part of our community and has been for years, and it makes me sad that anyone would associate our mosque with terrorism."

Another well-wisher was Corvallis Mayor Charlie Tomlinson. He says religious intolerance has no place in his city.

Charlie Tomlinson: "It's a mayor's worst nightmare, that somebody does something in your community that puts us in a terrible light, frankly. But you know, we come together, we're strong. We're going to move on. We're going to support the congregation here, and let them know that we are a family."

When prayers were over worshippers got back to work cleaning up the mess from the blaze. Mosque leaders expect insurance to cover the cost of repairing the damage. This worshipper, who only wanted to be identified with his first name, Mohamed, says he forgives whoever set the fire.

Mohamed: "A person is a human. And we humans, you know sometimes we out of anger say something or do something but usually they regret. There is goodness in every human we believe."

The fire was apparently set in the middle of the night but was quickly extinguished. No one was injured. The FBI is investigating the blaze.

Copyright 2010 Northwest News Network

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 5:30 at the mosque, which is near the Oregon State University campus.

Source

Tags: islam, islamophobia
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