WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.
SEE: Arson Suspect Linked to Mosque Fire in Court Document (Joplin Globe)
Man Confesses to Missouri Mosque and Clinic Fires (Reuters)
CAIR: Video of 2012 Arson Attack on Missouri Mosque
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.
SEE: CAIR Offers $10K Reward for Info on Mo. Mosque Fire
"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."
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.
Video: CAIR Holds Press Conference at Site of Burned Missouri Mosque
Video: CAIR Co-Sponsors Interfaith Iftar for Burned Missouri 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
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
SEE: CAIR Distributes New Mosque Safety Guidelines
CAIR recently published a major report, "Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States," which identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting the type of anti-Islam prejudice that can lead to bias-motivated incidents targeting American Muslims.
Obtain the full report here:
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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CONTACT: CAIR-St. Louis Executive Director Faizan Syed, 636-207-8882, 314-330-2946, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)