(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/19/16) â€“- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nationâ€™s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed a guilty plea by a man who torched a Joplin, Mo., mosque in 2012.
Jedediah Stout, 32, pleaded guilty to the mosque arson in U.S. District Court on Monday.
The Islamic Society of Joplin was burned down in August 2012, about a month after another fire was set at the building. The first arson attempt was caught on surveillance video.
Stout has been in custody since 2013 in connection with a similar arson at a Planned Parenthood facility, but had not been charged in the mosque arson. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Immediately after the mosque arson, CAIR state and national officials traveled to Joplin to support the Muslim community.
â€œWe welcome the guilty plea in this case and thank all the law enforcement officials who investigated and prosecuted this case in such a professional manner,â€ said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Awad was one of the CAIR representatives who traveled to Joplin following the arson to meet with law enforcement officials, to support local Muslims and to take part in an event organized by the interfaith community.Â Â Â
CAIR-Missouri Executive Director Faizan Syed, who also traveled to Joplin in 2012, said, â€œWe thank all those in the Missouri interfaith community who showed such tremendous support for their Muslim friends and neighbors during a time of crisis.â€
He said CAIR offers a booklet to mosque and community leaders titled â€œBest Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,â€ which was published in part as a response to a number of incidents like the Joplin mosque arson.
CAIRâ€™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 CAIRâ€™s â€œBest Practices for Mosque and Community Safety,â€ go to: http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
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To request legal assistance from CAIRâ€™s Civil Rights Department, fill out the intake form at: https://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html Â
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