Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Vandalism of Mosque in Gatineau

Incident follows recent vandalism at mosque
CBC News

Posted: Jan 4, 2012 8:48 AM ET  Last Updated: Jan 4, 2012 9:59 AM ET

An unsolved attack on a Gatineau, Que., mosque is being called a hate crime by a national Muslim organization, after cars were smashed earlier this week.

Video surveillance caught a man between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Monday attempting to set fire to two cars parked at the Outaouais Islamic Centre, according to Amadou Thiam, secretary general at the mosque.

When people arrived Monday, Thiam said, they found front and side windows smashed on the cars, along with a wad of paper stuffed into a gas tank.

Two windows at the mosque were also broken, the second time in the last month and third time in four months the mosque has been a target of vandals.

Group says hate crimes under-reported

The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) called the attack a hate crime, even though the Islamic centre disputes that claim.

Ihsaan Gardee said the mosque is reluctant to admit the act was motivated by hate because there is fear, a common cause of under-reporting of hate crimes.

"There's fear of reprisal. They just want to get on with life and so forth," said Ihsaan Gardee, CAIR-CAN's executive director. "But we are encouraging them to contact their local authorities so that a clear record of these types of incidents can be kept."

Thiam said he believes people respect the mosque as a place of worship and would not attack it in hate.

Security camera footage of the parking lot is now in the hands of Gatineau police, who continue to investigate.

They also confirmed there are multiple investigations into vandalism at the Outaouais Islamic Centre.

In the last two years, hate crimes have almost tripled in the Ottawa area, according to police, rising from 51 to 134.

The mosque, located off Saint Joseph Boulevard just north of St. Jean-Bosco Park, draws about 500 people for Friday prayers and serves a community estimated at close to 5,000 people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

With all the hate against Muslims being incited online and in the media, crimes like these will sadly continue. Hate speech never stops at just verbal expression; it often leads to violence or other crimes against the innocent.