Polish Muslims condemn 'hooliganism' after mosque attack
PR dla Zagranicy
The Muslim Religious Association (MZR) of Poland has condemned the vandalism of an 18th century mosque in north east Poland over the weekend.
The clean-up is under way at the mosque in Kruszyniany. Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko
In an official statement released by Musa Czachorowski, press spokesman for the MZR, the association stressed that the wooden mosque in Kruszyniany “is both the heritage of us Tatars, and also of all citizens of the republic.
“We are thankful for the words that have been coming in from across Poland condemning this disgusting act of hooliganism,” Czachorowski noted.
“It is truly reassuring that our outrage is shared by so many people of different backgrounds and religions,” he added.
An unidentified culprit spray-painted a pig onto the side of the mosque and also defaced several tombstones. The crime took place by night after the first day of Ramadan on Saturday.
Czachorowski said that the community is “shocked” that such a crime took place during this holy period.
Although the local Tatar community has stressed that the vandalism in the village is unprecedented, the surrounding Podlaskie region has witnessed a series of racist incidents in recent years.
In May 2013, Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz pledged to treat the regional capital of Bialystok as a training ground for combating racism, owing to a rash of hate crimes.
Besides hate crimes in Bialystok itself, in recent years the region has seen an arson attack on a Muslim Cultural Centre, vandalism of Jewish graveyards and monuments, and the defacement of 28 Lithuanian road signs (there is a significant Lithuanian minority in the region). (nh)