Feds involved in investigation of fire at Pittsfield Twp mosque
PITTSFIELD TWP, Mich. (WJBK) - The investigation into what or who started the fire that burned down a Pittsfield Township mosque continues and now, federal officials are getting involved.
The Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said they're still trying to figure out what happened after a fire ripped through the Pittsfield Township Islamic Center over the weekend
"I was extremely troubled when I heard the news," Dawud Walid said. "We're calling upon investigators to see if this was an arson and if, in fact (it was), then treat this as a hate crime."
The Pittsfield Township Fire Department calls the fire suspicious but the cause is still undetermined at this time. The FBI and ATF are also investigating and will determine if this incident is a hate crime.
"There has been a rash of mosques being set a blaze across the country - about six since the inauguration of President Trump," Walid said.
Fox 2 contacted the center for comment was issued this statement:
"The Islamic Center of Ypsilanti was burned in a fire. Given the rash of mosque fires that have happened recently across the U.S., the fire seems suspicious but the authorities still have not yet determined if the fire was caused by arson or not."
CAIR officials are offering a reward in hopes that someone out there who has information about this incident will speak up and call police
"This is why we are offering a $1,000 reward. If anyone saw anything suspicious activity around that Islamic Center at around 4 pm on Saturday they should immediately contact the ATF or FBI," Walid said.
The Islamic Center also started a fundraising effort to raise money to help rebuild the center.
CAIR officials are also calling on houses of worship including Islamic Centers to get security cameras. This Islamic Center did not have them at the time of fire
"At this particular time so many threats against houses of worship across country including here we need to have proper security precautions as well as cameras," Walid said.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Islamic Center's fundraising efforts.