A suspicious fire that destroyed a mosque in Joplin has brought new friends and a stronger sense of belonging for the city's Muslims, who are continuing with plans to rebuild inside the city, some members of the mosque said.

The Islamic Society of Joplin Mosque was destroyed by fire last Aug. 6. Although investigators have not determined the cause of that fire, another fire that damaged the mosque on July 4, 2012, was ruled an arson.

Joplin Muslims held an interfaith iftar meal Saturday at their temporary location at a Joplin shopping center, joined by members of Christian churches and the United Hebrew Congregation synagogue. It was one of several interfaith events held since last year's fires, The Joplin Globe reported ( http://bit.ly/15En38x).

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Before Asif Umar even reached the age of 10, his parents stressed the proper recitation of the Quran. They even hired a private tutor to visit their St. Charles home to instruct Umar and his sister on the precise pronunciation of the holy book’s Arabic text.

CAIRO – American Muslims have hailed a decision by Missouri governor Jay Nixon to veto a bill that bans the use of Islamic Shari`ah in state courts, a legislation that would have make their life harder.

"We applaud Governor Nixon for taking this courageous and principled stance in defense of Missouri families and of the Constitution," Faizan Syed, director of St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-St. Louis), said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.

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