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King Carl XVI Gustaf visits burned mosque in Örebro

The King visited the site of the Örebro Mosque, which was burned down overnight Tuesday

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden visited a burned down mosque in Örebro earlier this week.

The King was in Örebro to attend a lecture at the local university when he made the unscheduled appearance at the burn site.

“It is an honour to us that the King was able to give us some of his time because he was in Örebro, and that he was able to share his grief with us and see what has happened,” said Hassan Mountagui, Örebro Mosque’s deputy CEO in an interview with SVT.

Jasmine Lamhamdi, daughter of the Mosque’s CEO Jamal Lamhamdi, said that the King “seemed quite kind” and presented him with flowers.

King Carl XVI Gustaf was in town for a lecture on microplastics before he visited the site.

Investigators were holding a 20-year-old man as a suspect. It was stated in a press conference that the man was being held on suspicion of arson, but that investigators did not see any political or religious motives for the crime.

The fire was first reported to emergency personnel in the middle of the night on 26 September, and five hours later the blaze was still strong. There were no reported injuries because of the fire.

The Swedish Church has reached out to Örebro Mosque, with priest Graham Jarvis telling Nerikes Allehanda that “If there is anything the Swedish Church can do to help we want to.”

Örebro Mosque moved to that location in 2007, and in 2014, was vandalised when a bottle of flammable contents inside was thrown through a window, though there was no fire at the time. The Örebro Mosque says it receives around 5,000 visitors per month.

The Örebro Mosque was located in the Vivalla area, which was described by police as a particularly vulnerable area, meaning that social and criminal issues have “led to a widespread disinclination to participate in the judicial process and difficulties for the police to fulfil their mission.”

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