Poland to protect mosque with anti-fire system

Other News Materials 5 August 2008 21:52 (UTC +04:00)

Poland's oldest mosque will soon be equipped with an anti-fire system to protect the historic wooden structure, a member of the country's tiny Muslim community said Tuesday, dpa reported.

The mosque at Kruszyniec in eastern Poland dates back to the 18th or early 19th century, serving Muslim residents who trace their roots back to Tatars who settled in the region in the 14th century.

Bronislaw Talkowski, chair of the town's Muslim Community organization, said Poland's Culture Ministry offered the system because of the mosque's historic value. A second mosque some 50 kilometres (30 miles) away is already secured, he said.

Neither mosque is in immediate danger, but Talkowski said in a telephone interview he has heard that a fire destroyed the structure in Kruszyniec centuries ago.

Today some 5,000 Muslim Tatars live in Poland, community leaders say. The predominantly Roman Catholic nation is also home to an estimated 25,000 Muslim immigrants and 700 converts.