PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - The fire that caused damage to the second story of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo Sunday has been ruled a case of arson. A couple of the board members for the Islamic Center said the attack feels personal.
Shortly after 9/11 the mosque was shot at from the expressway. Members said that event was not as hurtful saying they are still in shock over the fire and in disbelief that it has been ruled as arson.
"You always go through this denial thing, and I'm still in denial, it's just very hard to believe, hard to accept," said Islamic Center President Mabjabeen Islam.
"Very disturbing once the determination was made that it was arson, so you really feel violated it's hurtful, but we have confidence in the authorities and I know they are working hard at in their investigation and at finding the person or persons who are responsible and hopefully they'll be brought to justice," said spokesperson for the Islamic Center Cherrefe Kadri.
Sunday evening, there were reports of smoke coming from the mosque. Monday, police said the fire was sent intentionally by some sort of incendiary device. Police would not say exactly what type of device was found.
"It doesn't feel right to be from within, and it doesn't feel right that it would be from without. we've been here for so long, people know us, we just had our festival a couple weeks ago, it was, you know terrific turn out so I think you can't predict the actions of those who are wayward in their thinking," said Kadri.
There is significant water and fire damage to the second floor of the mosque, and for now they are making arrangements for prayer services to be held elsewhere.
"These kinds of events create a lot of cohesion, and people coming together in sorrow, and umm, a lot of grief, our community will, I count on our community to, we already have evidence of that," said Islam.
Anyone with information is asked to call Perrysburg Township Police at 419-874-3551 or the Ohio Fire Marshall's Office at 1-800-589-2728.
The Perrysburg Township Police are continuing their investigation.
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