Miracle in Joplin: $250,000 Raised to Replace Burned Mosque

Huff Post: Randy Turner.

Sometime on the night of Aug. 2, the goal of $250,000 to rebuild the Joplin Islamic Society mosque, which was destroyed by a fire Monday morning, was met — and the money keeps pouring in.

After a tornado that destroyed one-third of the city and left 161 people dead didn’t keep Joplin down, it should have been expected that an act of hatred, as it appears the fire was, would not fare any better.

Again, the people of Joplin, people of all faiths, banded together to show the Islamic community its support, and people from all over the world, again of all faiths, led with their hearts and their pocketbooks once more, showing that the miracle of the human spirit, as our City Manager Mark Rohr termed it, is alive and well in Joplin.

Among those leading the battle to raise the quarter of a million that was needed to replace the mosque was one of my former students, Joplin High School junior Laela Zaidi, a blogger for Huffington Post’s Teen page.

In interviews with CNN and Al Jazeera, Laela was the perfect representative for both her Islamic faith and the people of Joplin.

But this young lady, who lost her home and her school in the 2011 Joplin Tornado, did more than just tell her story on national and international television. Shortly after the news of the mosque’s destruction became public, Laela used her skills at social networking to sound the drumbeat to rebuild the mosque and not allow hate and prejudice to reign.


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