Toledo-mosque-arsonBy S. Amjad Hussain, Toledo Blade

A painful chapter in the life of the Islamic community of Toledo ended happily last month. The community celebrated the full restoration of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.

In September, 2012, a man was arrested in Indiana for setting fire to the Islamic Center, in Perrysburg Township. At the time of his arrest, he said he was under the influence of alcohol when he doused the prayer area under the center’s dome with gasoline and lit a match.

However, he later said it was not the haze of alcohol that led him to the center, but a hatred of Muslims and Islam that was stoked by certain men of the cloth and right-wing media.

Fortunately, the world is not guided by the likes of the arsonist and his spiritual and political godfathers. This was obvious from the gathering of people at the Islamic Center last month. They represented a cross-section of our community that included many faiths and cultural traditions.

In attendance were people who had investigated the crime, arrested and prosecuted the culprit, and repaired and restored the center. (Read more)


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