Corvallis circles mosque in light: 'Thank you ... for being here'

Corvallis circles mosque in light: 'Thank you ... for being here'

CORVALLIS, Ore. - From hate came compassion.

From a fire came light.

Hundreds surrounded the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center to hear prayers from a pastor, a rabbi and an imam on Tuesday night in the wake of an apparent arson at the mosque.

The gathered to stand with neighbors of different faiths - and to offer support in the face of intolerance.

"I was stunned and saddened," said Ryan Lambert of the First Cong. United Church of Christ said of the arson at the center that followed the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who sometimes worshipped there, "but also thrilled that it was lifted up in our prayers and people immediately wanted to do something."

The shock of the arson is still hard for some to put into words.

"I feel bad, I don't know, I can't describe my feelings," Mohammad Attwergy, a member of the Islamic Center. "I feel like there are people that are caring about us here, and we feel more secure. Thank you so much guys for being here."

The community said this crowd, huddled together, speaks more about Corvallis than Sunday morning's fire.