By CHRISTINA CARREGA, ABC News
(CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.) — A fire that broke out at a Cape Girardeau mosque during the early morning hours after the start of Ramadan is under investigation by the FBI and local officials.
The fire occurred hours after the beginning of holy month for Muslims — a time of spiritual reflection where they pray and fast every day of the month from dusk to dawn.
We are asking for anyone who may have driven by the Islamic Center shortly before 5 a.m. this morning, when fire crews arrived on scene, to call the Cape Girardeau Police Department (573-335-6621) and speak with detectives regarding anything they may have witnessed. pic.twitter.com/jz5bSRMLas
— Cape Girardeau PD (@CapePolice) April 24, 2020
No injuries were reported. The building sustained structural damage, police said.
The Missouri chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, called on law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for the fire.
“Because the fire was deemed ‘suspicious,’ and because it occurred at a house of worship on a significant religious date, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for the blaze,” said CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper in a statement issued on Friday.
The incident is under investigation by the FBI which has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to the fire.
Local police are also asking the public to call 573-335-6621 and speak with detectives regarding anything they may have witnessed.
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