CARACAS – Representatives of Venezuela’s Muslim community complained that a group of unknown thieves broke into the country’s main mosque, stole assorted objects from the administrative area and vandalized sacred texts housed there, the local press reported on Tuesday.
Mohammad Ali Bokhari told reporters that the thieves trampled on sacred books, broke windows and stole computer equipment.
The attack occurred at the Ibrahim Al-Ibrahim mosque, the second-biggest mosque in Latin America, which was inaugurated in 1993 and built with funds provided by Saudi Arabia.
“It’s the second time that they’ve robbed us and we’re asking the authorities for better protection for holy places,” said Bokhari after noting that the first robbery occurred six months ago.
The representative of the Muslim community said that the two watchmen who guard the mosque did not notice that the vandals had broken in because the grounds of the religious site cover an area of 5,000 square meters (53,700 square feet) and, presumably, they were elsewhere at the time.
In contrast to what occurred at the end of January, when Caracas’ main synagogue was robbed and vandalized, the incident at the mosque so far has had no international repercussions.
It is calculated that Caracas’ Muslim community numbers about 50,000, most of them of Arab origin. EFE