COLOGNE (AA): An unidentified arsonist did considerable damage to a mosque in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany , but there were no casualties, the mosque’s head reported on Saturday.
Omer Oral, the head of Hagen’s Great Mosque Society, told Anadolu Agency that the arson attack took place at 10.00 a.m. when the assailant set fire to a trash dumpster and cartons outside, leading to significant material damage.
Underlining that he took comfort in seeing no loss of lives, Oral said: “Substantial damage was done to the entrance of the mosque. The mosque was filled with fog and smoke and all the furniture inside were ruined.”
He went on to say that the surveillance cameras were checked by police and a suspect was seen “pulling something out his pocket” near the mosque entrance just before the fire started.
“We should reach out to the people around us and do a better job introducing ourselves and our faith,” he said, adding that such attacks will never deter Muslims in Europe from practicing their religion.
The mosque belongs to the Islamic Community National View (IGMG), one of Germany’s largest Muslim-Turkish associations.