NEW HAVEN -- Hundreds of people gathered Thursday night outside of the Diyanet Mosque in New Haven, days after the place of worship went up in flames.
With Ramadan underway, a fire broke out at the mosque Sunday afternoon. On Monday, New Haven officials announced their belief that the fire was set intentionally.
The mosque was a second home for many of its worshippers. It was only 9 years old and still under construction, but the community plans to rebuild and nearly $150,000 have already been raised.
“We’re united so we’ll be able to get through this as a community,” said 12-year-old Elif Uzun of New Haven.
Uzun said she “made her best friends who became sisters” at the Diyanet Mosque and knows that she can always come home to this community.
“It could burn down,” she said. “Anything could happen but we’ll still pray here, even if we have to pray on the roads or something, we’ll still do it.”
The specific motive for the arson is unclear. Police have not made any arrests and the investigation continues.
“We’re living in a country where people are accepting bigotry, where people are accepting division and we’re gonna say no, we’re not gonna tolerate it,” said Fahd Syed of Waterbury. “We want justice. We want the person responsible for this hateful act to be arrested.”
“This is not a religious thing anymore,” said Murat Elevulu, a worshipper at Diyanet Mosque.
“It’s just humanity.”
If you would like to donate to the Diyanet Mosque, click here: https://www.launchgood.com/campaign/united_for_new_haven_mosque#!/