Locals band together to repair Connecticut mosque destroyed in anti-Muslim attack

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ANKARA
Published 18.05.2019 00:08

Religious authorities in the U.S. and the administration of the Diyanet Mosque in New Haven, Connecticut, which was set on fire on Sunday in an anti-Muslim attack, have enhanced efforts to repair the mosque as soon as possible in solidarity with the local community.

While work continues to assess the damage at the New Haven Diyanet Mosque after the arson attack, a fund campaign was launched on a website called "Launchgood" for the renovation expenditures: $150,000 has been collected so far. While the damage to the mosque totaled more than $500,000, the priority was to collect $100,000 during the first phase of the donation campaign until the official investigation is completed.

An anti-Muslim attack took place in New Haven against a Turkish mosque on Sunday, the seventh day of Ramadan, a holy month during which Muslims fast and pray. After the attack, the Religious Services Attache of the Turkish Consulate General in New York said an investigation was underway into the fire at Diyanet Mosque and that efforts are being made to catch the perpetrators. While a reward of up to $2,500 has been offered by local officials for any information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the perpetrators, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also set a $10,000 reward for information on the crime.

The imam of New Haven Mosque, Mikail Keskin, who has been on duty for eight years at the mosque, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the unfortunate attack occurred during holy Ramadan, but renovations continue thanks to the support of local people.

President of the Diyanet Center of America (DCA), Fatih Kanca, said their only consolation is no people were killed or wounded during the "horrible" attack, stressing that the mosque suffered significant damage during the incident. He added that they are grateful for the solidarity shown by non-Muslim locals in New Haven.

A local resident from New Haven, Arthur Carole, told AA that the attack had devastated him. This is just one of a series of attacks that have increased during the tenure of U.S. President Donald Trump. A solidarity event was held on Thursday evening with the participation of several hundred people at the Diyanet Mosque.

The DCA is the operating name of the Turkish American Community Center (TACC), a nonprofit organization located in Lanham, Maryland. The community center was established in 1993 by a group of Turkish-Americans to provide religious, social and educational services to Turkish immigrants and Muslims living in the United States. As an umbrella organization, the DCA has 22 local chapters with affiliations across the U.S. and works in full coordination with the Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.

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