Same Minneapolis mosque in flames for second time in less than one year

Muslim leaders and worshippers are on edge after a fire at the property of the Mercy Islamic Center.

The same mosque was set on fire less than a year ago. Investigators say Jackie Little was behind the fire intentionally set on the third floor. Little was also tied to burning down the mosque inside the Somali Mall. He is facing federal charges.

Minneapolis Police said they don’t believe the cause of the Wednesday’s fire to be suspicious at this time. However, that is not doing too much to ease the Muslim community’s concerns.

“Looking at this, I’m like wow, it also makes me feel unsafe,” said Aweis Hassan.

Hassan has been attending prayers at Mercy for about five years. He said it is unsettling to see destruction twice in one year.

“It makes me feel like there’s some hatred going on,” Hassan said.

Thursday, firefighters battled the flames coming from three garages and a home belonging to the mosque.

Council of American Islamic Relations Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said the damage exceeds $100,000.

“We are just hopeful that this is not an actual attack,” said Hussein.

He said this week’s fire is just adding to the trauma.

“The image is very powerful,” Hussein said. “We have seen these burnings now in Minnesota, just this year we’ve seen seven incidents.”

Hussein said that’s more than any other state.

He believes peace and security begins with cameras at all mosques.

“We are praying that this type of attacks or these types of incidents hopefully are lessened,” Hussein said.

Mosque worshippers and leaders are urging anyone with information to contact Minneapolis police.

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