A fire broke out at Mercy Mosque in Minneapolis on Wednesday, resulting in the destruction of mosque property and causing thousands of dollars in damage. The blaze was reported by members of the mosque, located at 2647 Bloomington Av. S., who noticed the fire in one of the center’s garages around noon. Firefighters promptly responded and extinguished the flames. However, three garages were destroyed, and nearby residential property was also burned. The estimated damage is over $100,000.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by Minneapolis police. The Minneapolis Fire Department has not provided any comments regarding the incident. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) has called for any information on the cause of the fire, including whether it was a hate crime or bias-motivated.
This marks the second potential arson incident at Mercy Mosque this year. In April, another fire occurred in the building’s hallway, leading to the evacuation of approximately 50 children from a daycare and 50 worshipers. Authorities later charged 36-year-old Jackie Rahm Little in connection with those fires. Little’s motive remains unclear, but court records suggest a history of untreated mental illness and violent behavior.
In addition to the Mercy Mosque incidents, there have been several reported attacks on Muslim houses of worship in Minnesota this year. One such incident occurred at St. Paul’s Tawhid Islamic Center, where a fire caused extensive damage, estimated at over $250,000. Authorities arrested and charged 42-year-old Said Murekezi in connection with that fire. Murekezi stated that he burned the building as a form of protest against Muslims and Americans who must sleep outside in the cold.
Given the previous attack and increasing community tensions, CAIR-Minnesota is urging law enforcement to conduct a comprehensive investigation into this recent incident to determine if there is a possible bias-motivated motive. CAIR-Minnesota Executive Director Jaylani Hussein has called on community members and Islamic institutions to review CAIR’s safety booklet for advice and expressed solidarity with the Mercy Mosque community, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the safety and security of all community members.