A fire at the entrance to the Grand Mosque of Strasbourg was quickly extinguished overnight Saturday. The attack, which took place at the entrance to one of the main mosques in France caused only minor cosmetic damage.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has decried the arson attack and has vowed to pursue those responsible for this “odious act,” an official statement said Monday.
The statement continued on to say that Cazeneuve “reaffirms his commitment to protect the places of worship of all religions from such outrageous acts and attacks which target them, and also to fight against all expressions of hatred and intolerance,” adding that “such acts went against the core values of the French Republic.”
The president of the Grand Mosque, Ali El Jarroudi condemned “with the greatest firmness this odious act” and said that a complaint had been lodged with the police, adding that there were images of an individual lighting the fires which he had handed to the police.
In a statement to AFP, Abdallah Zekri, president of the Observatory against Islamophobia, said that he feels “anger and disgust at those who want to create tensions between communities.”
The Mayor of Strasbourg Roland Ries, expressed his “outrage” against “acts which, as isolated they are, affect the serenity of cohabitation between religions and tradition of understanding and ‘openness’ of the city.
The President of the Union of mosques in France (UMF), Mohammed Moussaoui, also condemned “in the strongest force” the attack, calling on the “Muslims of France to be vigilant and calm in the face of these acts.”
The incident did not disrupt the Great Mosque musical program which took place Sunday which included hosting the London Zemel Choir, a Jewish choir chosen as part of a religious music festival which took place in Strasbourg.