Fire was 'due to religion'

ROCKDALE councillor Michael Naji said a suspicious fire lit at his Bankstown chicken shop has nothing to do the upcoming council elections, but everything to do with religion.

Police are investigating the fire which burned through the shop in the Compass Centre off The Appian Way about 4am last Thursday.

"It's because I am a Shiite Muslim. [It is] not political, not for any other reason," Cr Naji said.

The independent councillor said anyone who believed it had something to do with the Rockdale elections which are scheduled for September was very "small-minded".

Cr Naji said his shop was known locally as Najis, but traded under the name of Najis Gourmet Food Propriety Limited.

He also owns Najis Charcoal Gourmet Foods on Firth Street, Arncliffe.

Bankstown police crime manager Detective Chief Inspector Glen Fitzgerald said he could not talk about the details of the fire although he asked anyone with information about it to come forward.

Cr Naji said that the case was very sensitive and he was waiting for the outcome of the police investigation.

Details: Crime Stoppers, 1800 333 000.