Local groups put up reward regarding arson at Islamic school/mosque04/13/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:
A day after a Town n Country Islamic Center was set on fire, members of the local Muslim Community and a Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office associated nonprofit announced a reward of $10,000 to learn who committed the crime.
Ahmed Bedier is executive Director of the Council of the Florida chapter of the American Islamic Relations, and a programmer on WMNF (roll tape#1 o.q.”we’re not going to be intimidated by this”)
Bedier says the total costs to repair the Islamic Education Center, located in the Town N Country section of Hillsborough County, are unknown. He also says its not clear at this point if the Center was insured.
Bedier said that Muslim organizations in the area have already decided to pay for the installation of a large tent, that will serve as a makeshift area for the School until it can be repaired.
And he said that an attack on a Mosque, should be construed on an attack on all houses of worship in the Tampa Bay Area (roll tape#2 o.q.” for any reason”)
At this point, law enforcement agencies are not calling the incident a hate crime. Both local and federal agencies are working on the case. Dave Couvertier is the FBI Special Agent investigating the crime (roll tape#3 o.q.” 1242”)
Detective Lisa Haber is with the Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office and the law enforcement coordinator with Crimestoppers Tampa Bay, a nonprofit group that assists law enforcement. (roll tape#4 o.q.”tb.com”)
Pervez Khoshnoodi is on the Board of Directors for the Islamic Education Center of Florida. He said he was stunned upon learning of the destruction of his School (roll tape#5 o.q.”set it afire”)
Khosnoodi is originally from Iran, but has lived in the United States for the last 45 years. Despite the violence done to his place of worship, he said he loved the United States (roll tape#5 o.q.” anybody specific”)
The Islamic Education Center is located just South of Hillsborough Avenue and the Veterans Expressway.