Mosque attack: Leader slams arson as 'act of evil'

MOSQUE president Professor Shahjahan Kahn hopes to send a message to the wider community during the public showing of solidarity today that by doing an "act of evil" they are not helping themselves, they are only uniting the community.

Professor Khan's comments come after a fire was deliberately lit at the Garden City Mosque at the weekend.

"They are actually uniting the community and bringing the community together," he said yesterday.

"That's what's going to happen. So they don't win.

"This person, who can destroy this place of worship, can do the same for other faiths and this has to stop."

Professor Khan's comments come after a fire was deliberately lit at the Garden City Mosque at the weekend.

Members arrived on Saturday to find an attempt had been made to burn down their place of worship.

Police said they believed a plastic bin was set alight after someone forced entry to the building between 2pm on Friday and noon on Saturday.

There was no other damage to the building, however they said a gas stove was deliberately turned on but the leaking gas failed to ignite.

MOSQUE FIRE: Professor Shahjahan Khan looks over the smashed glass of the hall door believed to be the entry point for vandals who started the fire in the hall which is part of the Toowoomba Mosque complex, on West Street.
MOSQUE FIRE: Professor Shahjahan Khan looks over the smashed glass of the hall door believed to be the entry point for vandals who started the fire in the hall which is part of the Toowoomba Mosque complex, on West Street. Bev Lacey

Professor Khan said he was thankful for all the messages of sympathy and solidarity he received over the weekend.

He said he believed Toowoomba was a city of peace and the perpetrator was not a representation of the wider community.

Social Justice Commission executive officer Dr Mark Copland said as a friend, a neighbour and a member of the Toowoomba community, he was very dismayed and disappointed that this happened.

He said today's public show of solidarity was an opportunity for Toowoomba to demonstrate "who we are when it comes to respect and celebrating our common humanity".

Professor Khan said the perpetrator was caught on CCTV and was wearing a hoodie.

Police said they had no evidence to suggest it was a religious or racial attack and are treating the incident as suspicious.

Police urged anyone who may have seen someone acting suspiciously in the area at the time to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

 There will be a public show of solidarity today at 3pm at the Garden City Mosque, located on the corner of Stephen and West sets, Toowoomba.

All people of good will are welcome to attend.

 


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