Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

May 13, 2019

Looney, Winfield, Anwar, Lemar, and Paolillo Denounce Arson at New Haven Mosque

HARTFORD, CT (May 13, 2019) – Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D- New Haven), Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven), Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), Representative Al Paolillo (D-New Haven), and Representative Roland Lemar (D-New Haven) released the following statements in response to the announcement that the Sunday fire at the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven was intentionally set.

“This act of arson is a deeply disturbing incident of bigotry and bias inflicting harm on our state,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “This mosque is not only a place for religious gathering but also an important community center and hub of activity for the Muslim population of greater New Haven. Thankfully no one was physically harmed as a result, but we know that deliberate attacks like this often cause polarization and emotional and psychological harm. My thoughts are with the entire community as our public safety officials investigate this profoundly troubling incident.”

“Hate has no place in our communities,” said Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven). “People of faith should not feel targeted or afraid in their places of worship. During this holy month of Ramadan, we need to ensure that our Muslim brothers and sisters feel safe and make it clear that our community supports them. I’m hopeful that a thorough investigation will be completed and whoever is responsible for this horrific crime will be brought to justice.”

“This heinous arson is a reminder of those in the world who wish to harm others solely due to their beliefs,” said Sen. Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor). “I am thankful that no one was harmed, but this act stands as another attack on religion. We all must stand and rally together in the face of those who want to bring us apart. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

“This act of cowardice is an attack on one the most precious freedoms that we hold dear – the freedom to practice our particular faith in peace and free from violence,” said Rep. Roland Lemar (D-East Haven/New Haven). “I strongly condemn this act and assure that New Haven stands in full support of our Muslim community. We will not sit back as one of our houses of worship is attacked and will take an active role in helping to get the mosque rebuilt.”

“I am deeply troubled by this intentional act of violence committed against a place of worship in our city,” said Rep. Paolillo (D-New Haven). “Thank you to all the firefighters, police and emergency services personnel who responded so quickly and for their ongoing investigation. Although I am grateful no one was injured, these incidents of hate cannot be tolerated and those responsible must be brought to justice. I am hoping this will bring us closer together as a community and city. I am already encouraged by the outpouring of support from other religious groups offering the use of their facilities to members of the mosque.”