Arson attacks on mosques in the Crimea


Two Crimean Tatar Mosques have burned down in the Crimea and witnesses say that they have found signs of arson.  The first fire did considerable damage to the central mosque in Saku on Oct. 13.  The second mosque is in the village of Rivne in the rasnohvardiyskiy district and was seemingly set alight in the early hours of Tuesday, Oct. 15.

Mustafa Dzhemiliev told Radio Svoboda: „There are a fair number of people eager to destabilize the situation in the Crimea and it’s hard for that reason for me to say who exactly is behind the arson. I imagine that it’s pro-Russian chauvinist forces in the Crimea. I assume that the culprits will not be found, as has been the case on previous occasions. The culprits are spurred by the authorities’ attitude to the Crimean Tatars and they feel their impunity.

Analysts believe that the fires look like an attempt to provoke inter-ethnic tension in the Crimea on the eve of a Muslim holiday day Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice).

The Mufti of the Muslims of Crimea Hajji Emirali Ablaev has called on Muslims to remain calm and called the arson attacks attempts to provoke interreligious conflict.

He also reported “attempts to seize land” in the Simferopol district which he says had been allocated for the construction of a Muslim religious building.

From reports at Radio Svoboda and RISU

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