Car bomb explodes outside Australian mosque with hundreds of worshippers attending prayer service

Published 29.06.2016 12:35
Updated 29.06.2016 12:36

Worshippers at an Australian mosque were left shaken overnight after a car was firebombed outside of the building, and the walls daubed with anti-Muslim graffiti.

Police confirmed to ABC news Wednesday that an accelerant was used to set the four-wheel drive alight outside Thornlie Mosque and Australian Islamic College in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, around 8.00 p.m. (1100GMT).

Muslims are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan, and the incident would have happened around the time of the tarawih prayer, which is conducted after the fast is broken.

Taken from Twitter: Anti-Islamic graffitti was found on the wall next to the burning car

Mosque Imam Yahya Adel Ibrahim said that hundreds of worshippers were praying inside at the time of the attack, although no one was injured.

"The Perth community was visited this evening by hate," he wrote on his Facebook page, adding that despite the incident everyone remained in the building to finish their prayers.

"Thankfully our community won't start hating and playing blame games and singling out groups of people in our society. This undoubtedly is a criminal act of hate, but it is the act of a person or group not the greater whole."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined Islamic leaders in condemning the incident:

"[Australia is] founded on a fundamental, a foundation of mutual respect. It's the golden rule... I deplore and I cannot condemn strongly enough any attacks of that kind," he told a local radio station.

Ibrahim later said that with the attack happening during the month of Ramadan fears were heightened.

"There's something not right there within the handful of people who seek to target Muslims with such hate," he said.

ABC news reported that vandals had also scrawled graffiti on another mosque Saturday and left a pig's head near the main entrance.

Police have said they did not think the incidents are related.

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