mosque

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

On the anniversary of the suspicious fire that destroyed a mosque in Joplin, mosque officials say they are making progress in plans to rebuild.

The Islamic Society of Joplin Mosque was destroyed by fire last Aug. 6. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The mosque was damaged by another fire on July 4 of last year. That blaze has been ruled an arson.

The mosque will be rebuilt inside city limits. Navid Zaidi, a mosque board member, says no rebuilding will start until the fundraising is complete.

Columbia mosque faces imam shortage and funding challenges

Jan 5, 2013
Ryan Schuessler, ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

Since 2008, the Islamic Center of Central Missouri has been without an imam – a central community leader in Islam. Although Columbia’s Muslim community has found ways to stay active, it is without a formally trained spiritual leader.

Imams lead prayers, serve as religious scholars and assist with weddings and lectures, among other things.

Without an imam, “You won’t have someone who you can ask questions to frequently,” mosque Secretary Rafa Nizam said. “The access to knowledge might not be as easy.”

Kellie Kotraba/ColumbiaFAVS / KBIA

It’s been about one month since a fire destroyed the only mosque in Joplin. Now, members of the Islamic Society of Joplin – and the interfaith community there – are picking up the pieces.

The mosque was burned down before daylight on August 6, during the holy month of Ramadan.

The FBI is still investigating the cause of the fire. Earlier in summer, on July 4, someone tried to set fire to the roof. That incident is still under investigation, too.