KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Donations from around the world have helped Muslims in Joplin, Mo., raise about $375,000 to rebuild a mosque destroyed in a fire, mosque officials said this week.
Members of the local Muslim community suspect the fire was a hate crime. Fire officials have not determined what started the predawn blaze at the Islamic Center of Joplin on Aug. 6. No one was injured.
The same mosque had a minor roof fire on July 4.
"We do think it is very suspicious," said Kimberly Kester, a spokesman for the Islamic Society of Joplin.
Thousands of people from at least 23 countries sent donations, said Ms. Kester. A Muslim community Web site said at least $375,000 was donated, far exceeding the $250,000 goal. She said the extra money would be used for safety features and a playground.
Many donations came from non-Muslims, she said.
"Non-Muslims just want to help. They realized that what happened is wrong," Ms. Kester said.
The FBI circulated an enhanced photo on Thursday of an unidentified man who is a suspect in the July 4 fire.
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