A mosque in the city of Örebro has been largely destroyed by a fire, which police are treating as arson.
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A Chinese man, Huang Shike, who happens to be a member of a Muslim minority group has been sentenced to two years in prison for preaching Islam online.
He was arrested in 2016 from the Xinjiang province because he moderated a discussion group about Islam on a messaging app called “WeChat”.
Huang is a member of the Hui minority and even taught the Holy Quran on another group. Each one had over 100 members. According the China Judgements Online, these discussion groups disturbed religious activity and violated internet laws.
Control over Xinjiang has been tightened by Chinese authorities because of radical Islamic thought infiltrating the region.
FBI launches investigation after bomb attack at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center damaged imam’s office.
There were 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 [The Associated Press]
A mosque in the US state of Minnesota was bombed early on Saturday, while worshippers gathered inside for morning prayers.
No one was injured in the attack at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, but police say the imam’s office had been damaged.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the attack, which took place at around 5am local time (09:00 GMT).
Richard Thorton, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis Division, said that the investigation will determine whether the incident was a hate crime and who may have been behind it.
Thorton added that the explosion was caused by an “improvised explosive device”, and that investigators had recovered components of the device to figure out how it was put together.
Worshippers managed to extinguish the blaze before firefighters arrived, according to a statement from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.
The group’s director, Asad Zaman, told reporters that “a witness saw something being thrown at the imam’s office window from a van or truck before the blast”.
Mohamed Omar, the mosque’s executive director, added that the vehicle immediately sped away.
The mosque, like many other mosques around the country, has received threatening calls and emails, Omar told local media.
“It was 5am. The whole neighbourhood was calm. People were supposed to be sleeping, that how peaceful this should be,” he said.
“I was shocked to learn this happened”.
Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshipper at the mosque, said the explosion was “unimaginable”.
“We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship,” Abdalrahman said.
“And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this.”
The Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center serves as a religious space and community organising platform for Muslim activists and leaders in the area, according to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) urged Islamic centres and mosques across the country to step up security.
The local chapter’s civil rights director, Amir Malik, said that “if a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months”.
CAIR and the mosque are offering a $10,000-reward each for information that leads to an arrest or conviction.
The attack comes amid a dramatic rise in the number of anti-Islam bias incidents in the United States, according to CAIR.
The group found that there were 2,213 such incidents last year, a 57 percent increase from 2015.
A recent report also said hate crimes spiked in 2016, which was the worst year on record for anti-Muslim incidents since the group began its documentation system in 2013.
The Southern Poverty Law Center also found that the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the US has nearly tripled since Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in 2015.
It reported that the number of organisations opposing Muslims “leaped” from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year.
In June, partial enforcement of Trump’s Muslim ban came into force.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies
Police in Avignon confirmed two hooded men arrived in a car before shooting into the crowd at random
Two gunmen opened fire on a crowd outside a mosque in south France leaving eight injured.
Police in Avignon are now searching for the suspects who fled the scene at around 10.30pm last night.
Two ‘hooded’ men arrived at the scene outside Arrahma mosque in a Renault Clio, La Provence newspaper reports.
One was armed with a handgun and the other with a rifle.
People were leaving the mosque when one of the men, who had got out of his vehicle, opened fire.
At least four people were injured as the crowd ran away in a panic.
A family-of-four were in a nearby apartment which was hit by ‘shrapnel’.
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Hundreds of civilians are seeking refuge inside a mosque in the Central African Republic’s border town of Bangassou amid ongoing attacks by Christian militias that have killed up to 30 civilians, Unite Nations officials and aid workers said on Sunday.
The attacks throughout the weekend on the town of Bangassou on the Congolese border have involved hundreds of fighters with heavy weaponry and appeared to be aimed at Muslims, they said, in the latest sign that the multi-year conflict is worsening.
The UN base there has also been targeted, prompting the deployment of extra troops to the remote town on Sunday in anticipation of further attacks. They had succeeded in partly securing the town by dusk, said Herve Verhoosel, spokesman for the UN mission (MINUSCA).
Asked about the civilian death toll, he added: “It is clear that we are looking at numbers that could easily reach 20 to 30.” Many of the fighters are child soldiers who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, he added.
Pastor Antoine Mbao Bogo, the local Red Cross president, said gunfire continued to ring out from the town on Sunday, blocking attempts by his organisation and others to reach the wounded and recover the dead.
More than 400,000 people in the former French colony are displaced internally and 2.2 million, or nearly half the population, are reliant on aid.