Islamic center in Veldhoven damaged in attack; Arson assumed
Police are investigating an attack on an Islamic center in Veldhoven that happened early Saturday morning. The perpetrators smashed two windows and started a fire in the kitchen, according to Eindhovens Dagblad.
The attack happened around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to the NOS. Several people who live nearby told the police they saw one or two people climb over the Islamic center's gates. Residents also heard a scooter drive away sometime in the night. A spokesperson told the NOS that arson is assumed.
Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire, which left damage to the kitchen and water damage to the rest of the building. Detectives are already checking surveillance cameras in the area.
The Islamic center, which opened unannounced in a former dojo in June, stirred controversy among local residents, Eindhovens Dagblad reports. It would serve as a space for the Eindhoven Islam Planning Foundation to give lectures and lessons, also known as a "dawah" center. The center also had a prayer room.
"Bizarre, we didn't see this coming," local business owner Ronald Walter told Eindhovens Dagblad when the center opened. He, along with several other local residents the newspaper interviewed, were surprised about the center's opening. The municipality had also not been informed of the purpose of the center, since no permit was required.