EDINBURGH – In a shocking attack to the largely integrating community, a mosque in Scotland capital has been damaged by fire in an attack declared a hate crime by police.
“Fortunately, no-one was injured as a result of this incident but the consequences could have been far worse had the fire taken hold and spread,” Detective Inspector John Kavanagh told Herald Scotland on Sunday, September 18.
“I would ask that anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity around the mosque, or within the Potterrow area, contacts police immediately.”
Edinburgh Central Mosque, in Potterow, was targeted in an arson attack at about 2.10am on Sunday morning.
The mosque sustained minor fire damage to the door and a small bush in the garden after an object was thrown at the building.
“This was a despicable and reckless act which we are treating as a hate crime,” Chief Inspector Mark Rennie, local area commander for south east Edinburgh, said.
“We have launched a thorough investigation to identify anyone involved and anyone who believes they have information that can assist with our inquiries is urged to get in touch.”
Foysol Choudhury, chairman of the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council, said: “ELREC, as an equality organization that has been striving to fight any forms of discrimination since 1971, strongly condemns this crime as an attack against our freedom of religion and expression.
“Edinburgh cannot tolerate any action that aims to spread hate and division within its society.
“ELREC would like to uphold Police Scotland’s request for everyone who has any information to contact them.
“ELREC also wishes to offer support to anyone who feels more insecure after this attack.”
Scotland has about 75,000 Muslims. About 40% of them live in Glasgow.
Muslims are the second largest religious group in the country, which has around thirty mosques.