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Crime and Courts

Wichita Mosque Still Under Construction After Arson Nearly Destroys Building

Members of a mosque in Wichita continue renovation efforts after a fire severely damaged their west side building on October 31, 2011.

Abdelkarim Jibril, president of the Islamic Association of Mid Kansas, says the fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The west side mosque at 3406 W. Taft was the first established in Wichita in 1978.

“The mosque now has a new roof and windows but there’s still lots of work to be done and there is a lot of money being spent to rebuild,” said Jibril.

Members pray at the mosque on Fridays on pieces of carpet without heat, air conditioning, lights or plumbing.

Authorities say the fire at the mosque was intentionally set.

The ATF is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone with information about the arson.

“Maybe that will bring out someone who knows something about the fire,” said Jibril.

Anyone with the information about the incident should call ATF at 1-888-ATF-FIRE, FBI at 316-262-0031 or the Wichita Fire Department at 316-337-9146.