Arson Suspected At Northland Mosque Under Construction

Sep 24, 2016

A possible arson is being investigated at a mosque under construction in Kansas City.

Islamic Center of Northland leaders say they arrived at the site, near Barry road in Kansas City north, for a meeting early Saturday morning and discovered blackened interior walls. There was no serious damage reported. 

The fire left little damage to the building. Kansas City police say they found two burned bottles inside.
Credit Courtesy - Laeeq Azmat

Kansas City police and a bomb squad responded. Police confirm that two burned bottles were found inside the building. 

Laeeq Azmat, ICN's board secretary, says they've had a good relationship with the Northland community. For the last 13 years they've held services at nearby Hillside Christian church.

Azmat says ICN has so far invested nearly $1.7 million in its new facility. But he says the site, which has been under construction for three years, doesn't bear obvious resemblance to a mosque. 

Still, the incident is discouraging for the Muslim community, especially considering the current political atmosphere in the United States. 

"We live already in fear, all the time. Whenever I leave for work, I always tell my wife to be careful, going to the gas station going to the grocery store, but this will definitely add to our fear," Azmat says. 

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig