Paris reprisals? Muslim cultural center in Glasgow firebombed, police suspect hate crime

© Luke MacGregor
Police are hunting for suspects who targeted a cultural center used by Muslims in central Glasgow during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Fire crews were called to Bishopbriggs Cultural Centre, also known as Al Sarouk, at around 2.20 a.m. GMT after it was set alight. 

Local residents and authorities are concerned the attack was a hate crime directed against the Muslim community in response to the shootings in Paris on Friday carried out by Islamic State extremists.

Police confirm the fire is being treated as “suspicious,” and have urged witnesses to come forward.

One source told the Herald newspaper that although the fire is not currently being treated as a hate crime, it is “one line of inquiry being looked at.” They said it may be a revenge attack for the Paris shootings.

“It was definitely a deliberate act and an investigation is underway to find out exactly what happened,” the source said.

“Obviously, the motive for the incident is key.”
Police said the building was empty when the fire was started, and no one was injured in the attack.

Area commander for East Dunbartonshire Chief Inspector Craig Smith said an investigation had been launched on Tuesday morning.

“Officers are investigating a fire at Bishopbriggs Cultural Centre in Auchinairn Road, Bishopbriggs,” he said.

“Police and fire crews were alerted to the fire at around 2.20 a.m. on Tuesday November 17.

“The fire is being treated as willful and a joint investigation between Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is now underway.”