PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - It has been more than two months since the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo was set on fire. It will be another four months until it is able to reopen its doors to the community.
It has been a long, heartwrenching process for the Muslim community, as they have not been allowed to even take a step inside their place of worship since the arson back in September. The Islamic Center is still undergoing repairs.
"Every space of the Islamic Center has been affected by smoke and water, and moneywise, it is $1 to $1.5 million in damage," said Dr. Mahjabeen Islam.
The ceiling needs to be replaced, the floor tiles need to be put back in, and the walls need to be painted, because everything has been damaged.
"In one fire, he got the whole building down. That part is really mindboggling to me, that had it been an isolated event, a window, or a shooting or something, that it would be restricted to one room, but smoke and water is just everywhere and every room is down," explained Islam.
Randy Linn is being charged with a hate crime and using fire to commit a felony, from which the Muslim community is still recovering.
"We feel really that we are orphanized, because we came every Friday, we came every Sunday, we came for events, and now when we have to go to these strange places, it just is not the same," said Islam.
It is something the community never expected to face.
"It's become fashionable in a very sad situation, that mosques are attacked on an almost weekly basis here. Even though we received a veiling threat, I had never imagined that something like this would ever happen," said Islam.
Islam says restoration is going well and cleanup is nearly complete, but the process will likely take until the end of March.
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