Turkey calls for action after arson at US mosque

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Turkey’s foreign minister called for a united stance against Islamophobia late on May 13 after a mosque in the U.S. state of Connecticut was attacked over the weekend.

“Arson in Diyanet Mosque in #NewHaven during Ramadan is another example of increasing #Islamophobia in the world,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter.

The minister also called for a united stance against Islamophobia and racism.

“Perpetrators of this heinous attack should be identified &sentenced swiftly. Should

fight altogether against Islamophobia &racism,” he said, adding the only consolidation was there was no loss of life.

A fire broke out on the first floor of the mosque on May 12 afternoon and spread to the second level. A worshipper who was in the building called firefighters and was able to safely evacuate.

The mosque, which was still under construction, was significantly damaged, an official Turkish body said on May 13.

“There was no loss of life or injury in the fire, but it is determined that the mosque has suffered large-scale damage. Tons of water used to put out the fire [also] caused damage to the building’s unburnt part,” it said.

The incident saddened the Turkish community in the United States, primarily in New Haven, the statement added.

A reward of up to $2,500 has been offered for any information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the perpetrators, according to officials.

In a statement, the Religious Services Attache of the Turkish Consulate General in New York said an investigation is underway into the fire at Diyanet Mosque in the city of New Haven and efforts are continuing to catch the perpetrators.

A criminal investigation is underway, and officials believe the fire was intentionally set. Besides local police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are also involved.

Hurriyet Daily News

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