(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/22/13) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed an arrest in the case of a Joplin, Mo., mosque targeted by arson in 2012.
CAIR said the suspect, 30-year-old Jedediah Stout, was arrested in connection with recent arson attempts at a Planned Parenthood center. Stout reportedly also confessed to setting the fire that destroyed the Islamic Society of Joplin last year.
Officials report that Stout confessed to two efforts to destroy the mosque, the second of which succeeded on Aug. 6, 2012. The first arson attempt was caught on surveillance video.
Immediately after the arson, CAIR officials traveled to Joplin and offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist.
“We welcome the arrest of the suspect and thank all the local, state and federal law enforcement officials for their determined efforts to bring this case to a successful resolution,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “We offer special thanks to the interfaith community in Joplin and to Americans of all faiths who offered financial support following the destruction of the mosque.”
“The strong message sent by this arrest is that perpetrators will be brought to justice, no matter how much time has passed,” added Awad.
He said the main lessons learned from the Joplin attack include the need for security cameras at mosques nationwide and the importance of good relations with everyone in the local community.
He said that is one of the recommendations in CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” which was published earlier this year in part as a response to a number of incidents like the Joplin mosque arson.
CAIR: Mosque Attacks Common Nationwide (Joplin Globe)
CAIR's guidelines, which include safety recommendations drafted by a leading security consultant, are designed to be used by mosque officials, Muslim school administrators and other community leaders and activists who seek to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities to bias-motivated attacks.
To request a free e-copy of CAIR's “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,” go to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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