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 scene of the fire has been sealed off in anticipation of forensic tests.”

The Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Jarfalla, a municipality northwest of Stockholm, said in a post on Facebook that about a quarter of the building was destroyed, Al Jazeera reported.

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.

Fire fighters arrived at the scene after the alert was sounded late on Sunday.

Earlier in the evening, several hundred people had attended a gathering in the building.

“We are very disappointed. This is the largest Shiite 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 mosque had previously installed security cameras.

Zahiri declined to say if the mosque had been subjected to recent threats.

The Centre also houses a library as well as youth and culture associations. The Centre said it had cancelled all planned activities until Thursday.

The association that runs the mosque was formed in 1997.


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