Lawmakers announce plan for more security after mosque fire

New Haven

A bi-partisan group of Connecticut lawmakers has announced plans to free up $5 million in state bonding to increase security at houses of worship.

The move comes in response to Sunday’s fire at New Haven’s Diyanet Mosque, which is being investigated as arson. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp says evidence of incendiary material was found on the site.

State Sen. Saud Anwar, a Democrat from South Windsor and one of the main sponsors of the legislation, says the money will help create a sense of resiliency and protection at churches, synagogues and mosques across the state.

Sen. Derek Slap said, “No body should be afraid to go to their synagogue, to go to their mosque or to their church. So together we are standing up against hate.”

Dr. Saud Anwar added, “We need to actually have strengthening of our places of worship so when  people go to places of worship the last thing on their mind is their safety.” Sunday afternoon someone set fire to the Diyanet Mosque. Six people were inside at the time including three children. 

Related Content: New Haven mosque fire being investigated as possible arson

Faraz Sabir is a member at Diyanet Mosque. He said, “I think it’s absolutely a hate crime and more importantly they are trying to spread terror at that point its domestic terrorism.”

The money would go for security upgrades at synagogues, mosques and churches. Michael Bloom the executive director at the Jewish Federation of Connecticut Said, “Door, bulletproof windows, cameras, keyless entries are expensive and unfortunately necessary in this day and age.”

Members of the Diyanet Mosque say security measures are absolutely necessary. Sabir said, “It’s unfortunate that we require that but I think in the political climate that we live in right now it’s absolutely necessary.”

The legislation would establish a competitive grant program similar to one that already makes money available to schools to install such things as remote door entry systems, video monitoring and shatter-proof windows.

WEB EXTRA: Members of burned down mosque plead for answers

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