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Previous story Corvallis residents show support for Oregon mosque after fire Next story


Story by Ralph Metcalf - The Oregon Herald
Published on Thursday December 2, 2010 - 8:21 AM
 
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CORVALLIS, OREGON – Steady rain Tuesday didn't discourage people from attending a candlelight vigil in support of an Islamic center targeted by an apparent hate crime after a teen who occasionally worshipped there was accused of planning mass killings in Portland.Hundreds of residents of this small college town came out for the vigil at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center.

Elizabeth Oettinger, senior minister of the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, said a number of religious leaders organized the event to show support for the Muslim community after the center's office was set on fire Sunday.

Authorities have said the blaze was the result of arson and they're investigating whether it was a hate crime, set because Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, sometimes worshipped at the center. Mohamud was arrested Friday in an FBI sting on charges he tried to set off a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, authorities said.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Oettinger said residents lit candles at the charred mosque to show their support for its members.