US: Minneapolis mosque burnt for the second time
MINNEAPOLIS - Hundreds of Islamic faithful are counting losses in Minnesota state following a fire incident that left a local mosque burnt, triggering questions about the safety of Minneapolis suburbs within the US, one of the safest countries in the world.
According to CBS, the fire gutted down Nervy Islamic Center, the second fire incident on the property within this year. Several items were burnt in the incident, with authorities starting an official inquest into the incident.
Investigators say Jackie Little was behind the fire intentionally set on the third floor. Little was also tied to burning down the mosque inside the Somali Mall. He is facing federal charges, CBS reports.
Police in the state say they are not sure if the cause of the fire is suspicious but they maintain investigations are going on to unearth issues behind it. However, that is not doing too much to ease the Muslim community's concerns.
"Looking at this, I'm like wow, it also makes me feel unsafe," said Aweis Hassan.
Hassan has been attending prayers at Mercy for about five years. He said it is unsettling to see destruction twice in one year. "It makes me feel like there's some hatred going on," Hassan said.
Jaylani Hussein, the Council of American Islamic Relations Executive Director, said property worth $100,000 was destroyed. However, he emphasized that "we are just hopeful that this is not an actual attack".
"The image is very powerful," Hussein said. "We have seen these burnings now in Minnesota, just this year we've seen seven incidents."
The incident comes at a time when mosques are being destroyed in Palestine by Israeli rockets, with thousands of people calling for a ceasefire. The fight between Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas has entered the fourth week, with over 8,000 people already dead.