Fire causes damage to Turkish mosque in Greece


The roof and interior of a mosque in Greece were damaged in a fire, Greek foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The fire broke out at the Mahmut Aga Mosque just before Friday prayers in the city of Komotini in northeastern Greece.

According to an initial report, the short circuit is believed to be the cause of the fire, but the exact reason will be ascertained after a probe, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantinos Kutras said in a press conference.

Komotini authorities told Anadolu that firefighters had to be called in to put out the blaze. The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement Saturday urging Greek authorities to thoroughly investigate the incident.

The Turkish ministry said that it expected Greece to take all necessary measures to provide peace and safety to the Turkish minority community living in Greece’s Western Thrace.


Source: ABNA

Australia mosque comes under 2nd attack this year

The photo shows damage caused by an arson attack at the Toowoomba Mosque in Australia on April 17, 2015.

The photo shows damage caused by an arson attack at the Toowoomba Mosque in Australia.

A mosque in the northeastern Australian state of Queensland has come under arson attack for the second time this year.

Fire broke out early Friday in the mosque in the Darling Downs region’s Toowoomba city.
Reports indicate the attack seriously damaged the mosque.
Australian police sources say an investigation has been launched into the incident. There are currently no suspects.
Police and Corrective Services Minister Jo-Ann Miller arrived in Toowoomba following the attack.

“This has been the second attack on this Islamic community in three months. It’s shocking, it’s outrageous and we want people to come forward so that the police can get the names of the perpetrators, so they can investigate it and if necessary they are charged,” Miller said.

Reports say the fire started in the mosque’s office before spreading to other parts of the building.

The photo shows Australian police officers standing outside the mosque in Toowoomba.

The photo shows Australian police officers standing outside the mosque in Toowoomba.

Authorities say the incident is suspicious and they are seeking to determine any connections between the blaze earlier in the day and another attack three months earlier.

The latest act of violence against the mosque in Australia comes as the country’s Muslim community has been experiencing a wave of Islamophobia.

Source: PressTV

Islamophobia in Germany; Mosque set on fire in the university of Witten / Photos

A mosque was on fire in Germany on Tuesday morning in the university city of Witten, located in the district of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to German daily DerWesten.


The daily reported that an identified man was filmed from inside the mosque on Monday night at around 23.30 local time entering the mosque “Sultan Ahmet Cami” and pouring the contents of a gasoline can in the prayer room. After he reportedly set the gasoline on fire, he fled the scene using the entrance gate of the mosque. The man was reported to have entered the building from the back, via its window.

There were four families with children living in the building, but fortunately, the fire extinguished by itself. One of those living in the mosque, Veysel Arslan discovered that the smoke had filled the praying room as he woke up to morning prayer.

Arslan reportedly said, that he smelt something burning when he arrived at the praying room at 5.30am. He said, “At first we thought the tea burnt. But then we noticed the smoke in the prayer room.”

The police seized the crime scene and experts are examining the burn marks. Xenophobic attack has not been excluded from the investigation.




Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia sees first Quran reading in 85 years


The Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum accessible to all by the secular founders of modern Turkey in the 1930s and secular Turks are wary of any moves to re-Islamise the building.

A passage from the Holy Quran was recited late Friday at a ceremony in the Hagia Sophia to mark the opening of a new exhibition “Love of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).”

It was read by Ali Tel, imam at the Ahmet Hamdi Akseki Mosque in Ankara, the official Anatolia news agency said.

The ceremony was attended by top Turkish officials including the head of the country’s religious affairs agency Diyanet, Mehmet Gormez.

Anatolia said it was the first recitation of the holy Holy Quran in the Hagia Sophia for 85 years.


Ali Tel (imam at modern Akseki Mosque) reciting a passage from the holy Quran.

The exhibition inside the Hagia Sophia is a show of calligraphic work in devotion to the Muslim Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) and runs until May 8.

The magnificent edifice was constructed in the sixth century as a church in the Christian Byzantine Empire and was the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the former name of Istanbul.

When Ottoman forces under Mehmet II conquered the city in 1453 he ordered the immediate conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Islamic minarets were built around its Byzantine dome.

It served as a mosque until after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire when in the mid-1930s the authorities of the new Turkish state under secular leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ordered it to become a museum for all.

But under the rule of the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan which came to power in 2002, there have been noises about reconverting the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc caused a furore in November 2013 when he indicated that he hoped to change the status of the Hagia Sophia, saying it looked “sad” but hopefully would be “smiling again soon”.

Greece reacted furiously at the time, saying such statements “are offending the religious feeling of millions of Christians.”