Bronx Mosque Holds Outdoor Service In Wake Of Fire
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Days after flames tore through a Bronx mosque, worshippers prayed on the street Sunday in front of the burned-out building to mark the end of Ramadan.
Police shut down 166th Street outside the Islamic Cultural Center in Morrisania so community members could gather for prayers to end a long month of fasting.
The mosque and a grocery store next door were destroyed by a fire Thursday night. Worshippers say it was important to come together for prayer and are vowing to rebuild.
"The importance of praying in here today is symbolic in that we want to make sure that the fire that burned the mosque do not break our spirit, do not break our solidarity," said Bakary Camara of the Islamic Cultural Center.
"Fasting end yesterday and today is Ramadan. So insha allah, next year again, insha allah. We're going to be in the mosque not on the street. We're going to be in the mosque whereby we can worship fully, happily, safely," said African People Alliance president Djounedou Titikpina.
Fire officials say the fire may have been triggered by electrical work being done in the basement.
Donations to help rebuild the Islamic Cultural Center can be made by visiting www.Markazsaqafi.org.