Officials think an early morning fire at a mosque in Florida was intentionally set, and the incident is getting investigated as a hate crime.
The Hillsbourgh County Fire Rescue received a contact around two:09 a.m. local time Friday about a fire at the Islamic Society of New Tampa in Thonotosassa. Firefighters place out the blaze and no one was hurt, even though the developing, typically referred to as the New Tampa Mosque, suffered some house damage, officials mentioned.
Officials and mosque members mentioned it appears a person attempted to break into the building. There are marks on the door, which is locked each and every night when the mosque closes.
Authorities will review footage from surveillance cameras that are installed throughout the home. The investigation is ongoing.
Officials from CAIR Florida, the state’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, held a news conference with officials outside the mosque this morning. Members of the mosque told reporters they’ve already received incredible assistance on social media and from the neighborhood.
Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, an lawyer and the communications director for CAIR Florida, named the fire a “hate crime” and an “act of terror.”
"We congratulate the Hillsborough County very first responders for their prompt response to this tragic predicament. It is worrisome that our neighborhood have fallen victim of what seems to be yet another hate crime,” Ruiz mentioned in a statement currently. “CAIR-Florida urgently call [sic] all neighborhood, state and federal law enforcement agencies to be on top rated of the investigation of what seems to be a heinous act of terror against the Muslim neighborhood.”
Due to the ongoing investigation, there will be no Friday prayer at the mosque nowadays. All regular prayers will be held in the old mosque constructing, according to a press release from the Islamic Society of New Tampa.
ABC News’ William Gretsky and Rachel Katz contributed to this report.
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