Two teenagers have been arrested after an arson attack at Northbrooks Mosque in Harlow, Essex, on Tuesday evening.
The incident occurred shortly after 9.30pm but there were no reports of any injuries and the actions of firefighters meant damage was contained.
Mosque secretary, Jamal Uddin, said curtains and carpets were damaged in the blaze.
At this stage, the incident is being treated as racially aggravated arson and is being investigated by Harlow CID.
Two teenage boys have been arrested on suspicion of arson and were questioned on Wednesday.
And as part of the police response to the incident, there was a significant policing presence in the area throughout Wednesday.
“We are absolutely devastated and shocked,” said mosque secretary Jamal Uddin. “We have been here for a long, long time and we have never had anything like this happen to us before.”
Mr Uddin said up to 700 people gathered at the mosque throughout the week and that as many as 300 attended Friday prayers.
Chief Inspector Paul Austin, Harlow district commander, said: “I have personally been in consistent contact with faith and community leaders to ensure our communities feel they are safe and are being supported.
“There will continue to be a policing presence in the area throughout today and the coming days and I would encourage anyone who has any concerns to please speak with those officers; they are there to help and reassure you.”
And Conservative Harlow Council leader, Dan Swords, added: “I am shocked and appalled to hear about this incident. Whatever the motives are for this, we will not tolerate any attacks on our communities and as a town we stand united.”
If you have any information in relation to this incident, then please contact Essex Police.