Sweden Muslims express ‘shock’ over mosque fire


Sweden Muslims express ‘shock’ over mosque fire

Swedish authorities have started an investigation into possible arson after a fire damaged the facade and roof of a mosque on the outskirts of Stockholm overnight, according to a police statement. Nobody was injured in Monday’s fire in the Jarfalla suburb of the Swedish capital, according to the statement.

The Imam Ali Islamic Center in Jarfalla, a municipality northwest of Stockholm, said in a post on Facebook that about a quarter of the building was destroyed. No one was injured in the blaze that appeared to have started on one of the outer walls, according to the police who have opened an investigation into arson. Earlier in the evening, several hundred people had attended a gathering in the building.

“We are very disappointed. This is the largest Shia Muslim mosque in Sweden with thousands of members,” Akil Zahiri, a mosque spokesman, told Swedish broadcaster SVT. He expressed shock and sorrow over the incident, and said many members of the congregation were worried. “If the police conclude it was arson, it is key that we step up security measures but we will wait for their findings,” Zahiri said.

The Imam Ali Islamic Center houses a library as well as youth and culture associations. The center said it had cancelled all planned activities until Thursday. Swedish authorities are wary of possible reprisals after a man drove a hijacked beer truck into a busy pedestrian mall last month, killing five people.

Source: Aljazeera

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