Source: The New York Times
On July 15, 2003 The New York Times reported that "after a fire Sunday night badly damaged the Dar-Ul-Islam Mosque in Elizabeth, N.J., one of the largest in Union County, its directors vowed yesterday to rebuild and said they would set up tents to continue holding prayer services... Fire investigators said they still did not know the cause of the five-alarm blaze at the mosque, a three-story building on Salem Avenue, nor whether the structure was too badly damaged to be repaired. But mosque officials said they thought the fire was an accident... Hansen Abdellah, president of the mosque's board of directors, said he did not think the fire had been intentionally set... 'We have a beautiful relationship with the city of Elizabeth, with the Police Department and the community,' he said near the collapsed and smoldering building. 'It had nothing to do with terrorism, violence or bias... It's a terrible blow in that it's a physical structure, but Islam is in our heart, not in a building,' he continued. 'So, we are going to be Muslims whether we are in the building or not.'"