Fire at Hillsborough Mosque ruled arson

The Islamic Society of New Tampa is located at 15830 Morris Bridge Rd.
The mosque was allowed to open on Friday morning.
People were allowed to use a building on the mosque property while the mosque is closed for the investigation.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A fire early this morning at a New Tampa Mosque is already being ruled an arson.

At approximately 2:15 a.m., a fire started outside of the Islamic Society of New Tampa, Daarus Salaam Mosque, commonly referred as the New Tampa Mosque.

Arshadd Malik regularly attends services at the Mosque and believes he was the last person to leave Thursday night around 8:40 pm.  Malik says he locked a gate to the property and went home.  Just after 2:00 Am, he received a call that the Mosque was on fire. When he arrived Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews were already at the Mosque, working to put out the fire.

“I am so upset about it. It’s a place of worship to God. You are trying to burn down a place of worship. Is this the tolerance that we have?” said Malik.

mosque1Federal ATF agents arrived and began working with Hillsborough County investigators to determine how the fire was started and who is behind the act.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn arrived at the facility, even though it is outside of city limits, to express his concern.

“What ever occurred here, we will find out. The perpetrator will be punished, but we can not allow as a community anybody to be victimized, to feel vunerable, to be attacked for any reason,” said Buckhorn.mosque2

There were no injuries in the fire and a damage assessment team is still working to determine the total cost of the fire.  The mosque will be closed during the investigation, however there is a nearby building where people are allowed to come in and pray.

Stay with WFLA.com for updates about this developing story.

 

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