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Senator demands more security following Connecticut mosque arson

31st May 2019
Senator demands more security following Connecticut mosque arson

People hold banners during a solidarity event on May 16 held for Diyanet Mosque after an arson attack on the mosque in the US state of Connecticut’s New Haven.
(Photo: Atilgan Özdil/Anadolu Agency)

Nadine Osam

US Senator for Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, called for the Government to invest in security at places of worship, following an arson attack on a mosque in New Haven.
“Invest in resources to make places of worship truly secure and safe,” he told worshippers at the Diyanet Mosque, which was targeted on May 12.

The Senator spoke before Friday prayers on May 17 at the Turkish mosque. On May 16 over a hundred people gathered in front of the mosque as part of a solidarity event.

The vigil was organised by the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Masjid Al Islam, Muslim Youth of Connecticut and MCCT, among other groups. The vigil featured speeches, songs and prayers, and brought together people from different faith traditions.

“Houses of worship… shall remain safe,” the crowd repeated together in a chant led by founder of Muslim Youth of Connecticut, Zain Seyal.A fire on the first floor of the mosque spread to the second level. A worshipper who was in the building called firefighters and was able to safely evacuate.

“We’ve detected that there is intent in this fire. This was intentionally set,” said Fire Chief John Alston. The mosque is still under construction and sustained significant damage.

Investigators are offering a $2,500 reward, and the Connecticut chapter of the CAIR is offering $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.The arson came at a time when places of worship have been frequent targets.

In March, 50 people were killed in terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the suspect published a hate-filled manifesto, the authorities said.
A week later, someone set fire outside an Islamic Center mosque in Escondido, California, and anti-Muslim graffiti referring to the New Zealand attacks was found, officials said.

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