Hundreds in Missouri rally for Muslims and mosque
KANSAS CITY (Missouri) - A rally for Muslims in Joplin, Missouri, drew hundreds of people yesterday, nearly three weeks after a local mosque was destroyed by a fire which members of the Islamic community suspect was a hate crime, the organiser of the event said.
The gathering at a city park was promoted on a Facebook page as a way to show "that love is stronger than fear or hatred".
Organisers saw the rally in part as a giving-back to the local Muslim community because their mosque was a relief center for victims of the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, which took 161 lives and damaged or destroyed more than 8,000 buildings.
"It's amazing," rally organiser and college student Ashley Carter said in a telephone interview during the event. "People who are of completely different cultures and beliefs are here having a conversation with each other, which is awesome."