Polish Jewish leaders offer support after attack on Warsaw Muslim center


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Leaders of the Polish Jewish community expressed sympathy with the Muslim community after an attack on a mosque in Warsaw.

On Monday night, rocks and bricks were thrown at the Muslim Cultural Center in Warsaw, smashing the windows of the building. The buildings garden also was destroyed by the vandals. The perpetrators did not get inside the building. Security camera footage show at least two people perpetrating the attack. It is not the first time the mosque has been targeted.

Warsaw’s Muslim community is made up of about 22,000 people and there are two mosques in the city. About 500 people come to pray in the cultural center’s mosque, community leaders told local media.

Leslaw Piszewski, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, and Polish chief rabbi Michael Schudrich, wrote a letter to mufti Tomasz Miśkiewicz in which they condemned the “increasing tendency of aggressive verbal and physical attitudes towards cultural and religious minorities in Poland in recent times.”

Warsaw’s Muslim center is the seat of the Muslim League of Poland. Currently the chairman of the Council of the League is Youssef Chadid. Nedal Abu Tabaq is a mufti there. The members of the center are mainly immigrants from Arab countries.

Mufti Tomasz Miśkiewicz is the president of the Muslim Religious Union in the Republic of Poland, which has its seat in Bialystok. Members of this organization are mainly Polish Tatars.

It is not clear why Piszewski and Schudrich wrote to Miśkiewicz, and not to Abu Tabaq.

Abu Tabaq gave an interview to the RMF radio on Wednesday, saying that in a few or more years Muslims will be given numbers. “The Jews had numbers in the camps, I would have a bar code,” he said.

About 35,000 Muslims live in Poland, which is 0.05 percent of the population.

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