Calgary mosque broken into as Muslims gather for vigil to condemn terror attacks
Police say theft at vacant building appears to be 'crime of opportunity,' no evidence it was motivated by hate
While dozens of people from Calgary's Muslim community gathered downtown for a vigil to pay respects to those killed in the recent terror attacks in Paris and Beirut, a break-in was reported at a mosque in the city's northeast.
Computers and an undisclosed amount of change from donation boxes were taken from the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, in what police describe as a "crime of opportunity."
Det. Graeme Smiley said there is "no evidence" the incident was a hate crime or the facility was targeted because of its religious affiliation.
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"Not unlike a lot of break-and-enters in the evening to vacant premises, culprits were looking for things of value," Smiley said, noting the building in the 4600 block of 80the Avenue N.E. is also under renovation.
The break-in was reported at 7 p.m. while dozens of Calgarians were attending a rally at city hall organized by the Muslim Council of Calgary.
"We're here to support the families of the victims and show our sympathy for the victims and to stand against terrorism and the ISIS," said Riyaz Khawaja of the Hussaini Association of Calgary.
"The ISIS does not belong to Islam," he added. "These are a bunch of criminals, terrorists, killers. They kill Christians, they kill Jews, they kill Muslims all over the place."