PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - Four days after police say Randy Linn tried to burn the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo to the ground, members are still trying to pick up the pieces and make sense of it all.
"It's just now sinking in, both the extent of the damage. Both physically and the impact emotionally, it's sinking in, and it's very difficult to deal with, very emotional," said Islam.
Police say Linn made his way into the prayer room and started a fire in the heart of the place of worship.
"When I did the initial walk through there was an accurate smell of gasoline and the dampness of the water. What was really overwhelming, it was like wading through, and when I walked on the carpet it was like a sponge," said Islam.
Mahjabeen Islam said this place is an extension of not only her heart and faith but also of the Muslim community. They take this attack personally.
"This is an attack on Muslims and it is a hate crime and it's not something that should be marginalized," said Islam.
Islam said the actions of one are affecting many. Teachers have to fight back tears as they cleaned up water filled classrooms and students had to be relocated to learn.
The community is working to rebuild and move on. They said there is an Arabic word they keep in mind to get them through this.
"Muslejah means a divine will or reason that anything happens," said Islam.
"We will come out of this stronger emotionally and socially with our community," said Islam.
In response to the arson, the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo has invited Toledo Muslims to pray with them Friday at 1:30 p.m.
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