“Last week’s attack on a mosque in Burkina Faso is absolutely reprehensible,” said USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin. “An attack on any house of worship is an attack on religious freedom writ large.”
Last Friday, an unknown assailant threw a flammable bottle into a mosque in the capital city of the west African nation, reportedly wounding six people. Witnesses to the event reported that a note left on the ground nearby the attack read: “Close the mosque or we’ll launch grenades at you.” Anti-Islamic sentiment appears to be rising in Burkina Faso as the country battles a growing threat from jihadist-linked insurgents among other vigilante armed groups. An investigation is ongoing.
“The growing anti-Muslim sentiment in Burkina Faso, brought on by the spread of jihad in the northern part of the country, is extremely concerning,” added USCIRF Vice Chair Tony Perkins. “The U.S. government should support the Burkinabe government and civil society working to foster peaceful, interfaith cooperation to combat this worrying trend.”
Last month, USCIRF published a factsheet on Attacks on Houses of Worship and Religious Leaders in Burkina Faso. In October 2019, USCIRF published a report on Protecting Places of Worship and Holy Sites.