Tampa – The Muslim community of Tampa is getting support from the Catholic Church.

Almost 2-weeks ago, someone set fire to the Islamic Education Center of Tampa on Rockpointe Drive. The fire caused more than $100,000 in damage. The FBI is investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

Sunday, a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops toured the burned out mosque, denouncing the crime. Rev. Francis Tiso called his stop, a sign of solidarity.

Rev. Francis Tiso, Catholic Church:

“It gives me a perfect opportunity to visit and express solidarity with the Muslim community here and to let people know that the Catholic Church is standing with any house of worship that is being damaged, burned, smeared with graffiti or anything like that.”

The Executive Director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the mosque will be rebuilt, but it could take 18 months or longer for that to happen.


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