Shots at the Islamic Cultural Center in Halle

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According to its own statements, the Islamic cultural center in Halle/Saale has existed since 1993 and sees itself as a religious community. © Peter Foerster/dpa

Airgun bullets hit the facades of an Islamic cultural center in Halle. No one was injured, but it’s not the first case of this kind.

Halle – During midday prayers, an airgun was fired at an Islamic cultural center in Halle. No one was injured in the incident on Sunday, police later said.

There is also major damage to the building. After the first investigations, the suspicion against a 55-year-old resident of an apartment building opposite was confirmed. According to the police, he was identified as the owner of the apartment from whose window, according to witness reports, the shots were fired.

“We are appalled by the shots fired at believers”

A “long gun for shooting diabolos and a gas pressure pistol” was found and secured on the man, it said. The suspect was not arrested and was allowed to leave after questioning, the police said. According to initial findings, he has not yet appeared with politically motivated crimes. Further details and background to the incident were not initially known. State security is investigating.

“We are appalled by the shots at the believers,” wrote the parliamentary group of the left in a first reaction. The facility has already been the target of such attacks on several occasions. The fact that people in front of the mosque could be targeted directly also has to do with the fact that the mosque is too small for the number of believers and some of them have to pray in front of the mosque. “The community finally needs support and the necessary sensitivity from the state government,” said Frakiton’s religious policy spokesman, Wulf Gallert.

Shots were fired at people a few years ago

In fact, there had already been shots at people who were near the building in 2018. A total of three Syrians were slightly injured in the attacks in June and February 2018. A suspect could not be identified at the time. However, the officials have already expressed the suspicion that the shots probably came from one of the adjacent prefabricated buildings.

“Today (midday prayer) believers (including wheelchair users) in our #mosque in #Halle were shot at with air rifles several times,” wrote the Central Council of Muslims in Germany via Twitter. When it comes to Islamophobia and racism, it doesn’t just stop at words. The Saxony-Anhalt Refugee Council sharply condemned the act. “The #radicalization and ongoing #rightsviolence in this federal state are a disgrace,” the council said in a tweet on Sunday. “Attacks like today must be scandalized instead of being tacitly tolerated! Solidarity now.” dpa

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