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13 June, 2024
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Occupied territories condemn attack on Limassol mosque

Religious freedom imbalance highlighted in mosque vandalism


In occupied territories, both the Foreign Ministry and the Vakoufika Department have strongly denounced an alleged attack on the Arnaut Mosque in Limassol. The incident, highlighted by the Vakoufia Department through a public statement and accompanying photos, purportedly shows football slogans defacing the mosque's walls and garden.

Expressing concern over a rise in assaults on Muslim places of worship in southern Cyprus, the Department emphasized their commitment to respecting all beliefs, regardless of language, religion, or race. Urging swift action to address what they termed "provocative attacks," they called on authorities to promptly identify and apprehend those responsible.

Echoing these sentiments, the Foreign Ministry issued its own statement, condemning the attacks as indicative of a racist and intolerant attitude toward Turkish and Islamic communities. They criticized the Greek Cypriot side for allegedly allowing previous attacks on mosques to go unpunished, suggesting that this impunity has emboldened perpetrators to repeat such crimes.

The assault on the Arnaut Mosque, the statement contends, cannot be viewed in isolation but rather in the context of similar incidents targeting historical mosques, including the Kioproulou Mosque, the Great Mosque of Larnaca, and the Denia Mosque.

While acknowledging the tolerance exhibited by the pseudo-state toward Greek Cypriots' religious freedoms, the Foreign Ministry underscored the alleged restrictions faced by Turkish and Islamic communities. They argued that the continued attacks on mosques and the lack of accountability for these actions highlight stark differences in the two sides' approaches to religious freedom.

Urging the Greek Cypriot administration to ensure accountability for the assault on their cultural and religious heritage, the statement called for swift identification and punishment of the perpetrators, as well as preventive measures to forestall future attacks.

[With information sourced from CNA]


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