Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are treating a fire at the Al-Falah Masjid Islamic Centre in Cheetham Hill, as an Islamophobic hate crime, and are appealing for information.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze at 10:31 pm GMT on Sunday evening.

The fire took several hours to contain and caused thousands of pounds of damage.

Iman Maaz Waheed told the Manchester Evening News that the mosque was largely empty when the fire broke out, and nobody was injured.

Mr Waheed also raised concerns about the security of the building but added that it should not be an issue for congregants to cover the cost of repairs.

Greater Manchester Police have confirmed this afternoon (December 11) that the fire is hate crime related.

Detective Inspector Muz Kernain of GMP’s City of Manchester Division said: “Fortunately, no-one was injured in the fire but had it been earlier in the day, this could have been a very different story.

“Attacking a place of worship is truly disgusting and I can assure you we will not be taking this lightly.

“It’s so important we find who has done this – the pain and upset they have caused is deplorable.”

Tell MAMA continues to document incidents and attacks against masjids and other Islamic institutions in the public domain, with over one hundred incidents recorded since May 2013.

We are reissuing our safety tips, having raised concerns yesterday on social that the fire was indeed arson-related.

https://twitter.com/TellMamaUK/status/1072147349659676672

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number 2220 of 09/12/18 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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