Oulu Muslim community centre attacked by vandals

After nine acts of vandalism, Imam tells News Now Finland he hopes Oulu Police can take action.

Smashed window at Oulu Islamic community centre / Credit: Abdul Mannan

The Imam of a Muslim community centre in Oulu says he hopes that police can take action, after vandals targeted the building for the ninth time.

Picture of smoke grenade and burned carpet / Credit: Abdul Mannan

Just after 05:00 this morning someone threw a smoke grenade through the window of a prayer room at the Pohjois Suomen Islamilainen Yhdyskunta PSIY.

Apart from a smashed window, the device also burned some carpet, and filled the prayer room and adjacent stairwell with smoke. However, nobody was inside at the time of the attack.

“We have given the video to the police in the morning, and we will see. This is the number nine attack on us. We didn’t get any good answer for the last eight cases” says Imam Abdul Mannan.

“The last incident happened on 25th December and we installed a good camera after that. So the video is very good quality, so I hope now they catch him” Mannan tells News Now Finland.

Police says the video shows an image of a slim man wearing a dark jacket, a white cap and hoodie who is now considered a suspect. They’re investigating the incident as vandalism at this point.

Picture showing smashed glass inside Oulu Islamic community centre / Credit: Abdul Mannan

Recent tensions in Oulu 

Oulu is home to an estimated 3000 Muslims, many of whom have lived in the area for decades.

The PSIY started out in the early 1990s; moved to its current location in 2012; and serves around a thousand members of the community.

However there has been a lot of tension recently after police made a number of arrests of new immigrants and asylum seekers, accused of rape and other sex crimes against underage girls in Oulu.

The case has strained community relations in the northern city, with police warning local residents at one time to remain calm, and not take the law into their own hands as the allegations emerged.

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