Mayor Pierre Oliver of the 2nd arrondissement where the room is located said the fire appeared to be an act of arson. “This is the second mosque that has burned down in ten days,” he said on Twitter. “People deplore the fact that places of worship are vandalized.”
He added: “The fire appears to be criminal, according to initial information given to me by firefighters and police. We are awaiting the first elements of the investigation. ”
Oliver applauded the firefighters’ swift work in putting out the blaze that started at 2:16 a.m. (0015GMT) in a series of recently renovated housing units. It includes several apartments, none of which was damaged.
“I condemn the attempted fire that night in the Essalam mosque in Lyon, the second this week. Anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian acts: these stupid and hateful acts are contrary to everything that is France. I will protect freedom. of worship, ”Home Secretary Gerald Darmanin said on Twitter.
The general secretary of the mosque, Abderrazak Chenini, said he would file a complaint with the authorities.
Last Friday, a fire also broke out in an annex of the prayer room of a mosque in Bron, a suburb of Lyon. The incident was most likely arson, according to investigating prosecutors.
Farouk Korichi, who heads investigations into anti-Muslim acts for the Rhône Mosque Council, told franceinfo radio he was well aware of the situation and was alarmed.
“They want to terrorize us. There is no doubt that these are organized crimes. Because there are a lot of extreme right groups in the region. On Facebook, there are groups calling for the burning of mosques, ”he said.
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