Mosque arson attack in Greek Cyprus condemned

19th Jun 2020
Mosque arson attack in Greek Cyprus condemned

Vandalism on the walls of Köprülü Haci İbrahim Ağa Mosque in the Greek Cypriot-administered province of Limassol, (Credit: Anadolu Agency)

Abdul Adil

The premier of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has condemned the “unacceptable” attempt to burn down an ancient mosque in Greek Cyprus on May 31.

At least three Molotov petrol bombs were hurled at the Köprülü Hacı İbrahim Ağa Mosque in the Limassol while the outer wall was vandalised with xenophobic and Islamophobic graffiti.

“We are sad to see that even with the [coronavirus] pandemic, there are some in Greek Cyprus who await opportunities to attack foreigners, specifically Muslims and their prayer sites,” said TRNC Prime Minister, Ersin Tatar.

He called on Greek Cypriot authorities to catch the perpetrators adding, “That racist and Islamophobic approaches will bring no good. Those who turn the other way in the face of this will suffer the most harm.” TRNC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kudret Özersay, condemned the attack on the mosque built in the 1800s.

“These outdated approaches cannot be accepted. It is essential for the Greek Cypriot side to find the criminals and punish them. I made a call to the Greek Cypriot Administration to do whatever is necessary and put forth a deterrent attitude,” said Özersay.

The top religious authority in Northern Cyprus also said they deeply regretted the attack, condemning all kinds of bigoted attacks.

The incident was also condemned by Greek Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, TRNC leader Mustafa Akinci, the island’s five main religious leaders, the Turkish foreign ministry and the ruling party, among others.

Speaking to CyBC the spokesman for Greek Cypriot Government Kyriacos Kousios branded the vandalism “condemnable”, but said that “the overexposure of the incident by Turkey gives us the right to wonder how Turkey and the occupation powers have behaved as regards our sacred places in the occupied areas.”

Kousios said the suspects were two young people, whose actions did not “express the will and views of our people.”

The religious leaders of the five main faith communities of Cyprus – Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Armenian Orthodox, Maronite and Latin Catholic – condemned all acts of vandalism and disrespect done to sacred places of worship.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also condemned the “heinous attack” on the mosque And called on the Greek Cypriot authorities to “take the necessary steps” to “catch the perpetrators.”

“Islamophobic rhetoric and actions will not contribute to the efforts towards reaching a settlement of the Cyprus issue,” the Turkish ministry said.

Two weeks before the attack on Köprülü Hacı İbrahim Ağa Mosque a fountain in the village of Nimfea (Yanıköy) in Komotini, Greece, which was built by a Turkish philanthropist in Western Thrace, was vandalised.

According to Gündem newspaper, on May 12 the fountain plaque written in Turkish was removed and the vandal also wrote ‘Erdoğan Turks Nazi’ on the fountain wall.

The Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe said they “strongly condemned this abominable hate-motivated and racist attack which bears motifs of enmity against Turks and is targeting the Turkish community in Western Thrace, and we want the perpetrator to be identified immediately by the police and brought to justice.”

Leave a Comment

What is 2 + 11 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets