Montreal police are investigating a possible hate crime at an east-end Islamic community centre where an axe with an anti-Muslim message written on it was thrown through a window early Tuesday morning.
Written on the axe were the words “F--- Liberals” and “we will exterminate Muslims,” the community centre’s director, Adil Charkaoui, confirmed to CBC News.
No one was in the Assahaba Islamic Community Centre at the time of the incident, which occurred just hours after the results of Quebec’s provincial election were made known.
“It’s really sad and disturbing — we were celebrating after the wonderful results we got [on Monday] and we were really disappointed to see that,” Charkaoui said.
He said members of the neighbourhood’s Muslim community concerned with the Parti Québécois’ proposed secular charter had been there earlier to watch the election.
The PQ’s proposed charter would have banned the wearing of the hijab and other overt religious symbols by public sector workers.
The Liberals’ majority win Monday night brought an end to the PQ’s charter hopes, much to the relief of its many opponents.
Charkaoui found it difficult not to connect the two events.
“You heard [Monday], the new premier saying that we are going to build this country together and to have good relations based on respect, and this is really shameful that we still have such attacks,” Charkaoui said.
Police spokesman Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière said investigators are currently treating the incident as a hate crime, but cannot say so conclusively until they have more evidence.
“Maybe at the end of this we’ll find out it was only mischief, with a different intention, but we’re not taking any chances,” he told CBC News.