• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

California mosque fire: Note referring to Christchurch attack found at the scene

By PTI
|

Escondido, Mar 25: A note referencing the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand was found at the scene of a possible arson fire at a Southern California mosque, police said on Sunday. Nobody was hurt, and members of the Islamic Center of Escondido were able to extinguish the small blaze before firefighters, officials said.

Image for representation only

The incident was being investigated as arson and a possible hate crime, said police in the city about 48 kilometers north of downtown San Diego. A note was found in the parking lot referencing the shootings this month that killed 50 people at mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, police Lt. Chris Lick said.

He did not elaborate about the contents of the note. Investigators did not release information about a suspect. The fire caused minor damage to the building's exterior. Seven people were inside the mosque at the time of the fire, police told the KNSD TV station. They were able to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived on the scene, KNSD reported.

[New Zealand attacks: Tearful Muslims return to Christchurch mosque]

"There are people who sleep there overnight," member Yusef Miller said. "They heard the sounds, they smelled some funny smells, and there was a letter saying something connecting to New Zealand at the same time. So, this made everybody especially on edge."

The Escondido mosque was created four years ago and serves several hundred people in the city of about 143,000 residents, Miller said. He told KNSD that worshippers are undeterred.

"We won't stop praying," Miller said. "We won't stop gathering." Dustin Craun, the head of the Council of American-Islamic Relations in San Diego, said his civil rights group stands with the mosque.

[NZ to hold national remembrance for Christchurch next Friday]

"It is disturbing enough that some sick individual would attempt to burn a house of worship to the ground, but referencing the slayings in New Zealand is beyond the pale," he said in a statement.

"While the majority of humanity has responded to the tragedy to draw closer to one another and refute hatred, a violent and hate-filled minority seeks further divisions. We are grateful that someone was inside the mosque and was able to act quickly to put the fire out. We ask anyone with information to come forward and contact the Escondido Police Department. We stand in solidarity with our community members who attend the Islamic Center of Escondido."

PTI

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more