Security tightens at temples, mosques after fire

Police are investigating whether a fire that destroyed the inside of a Hindu temple in Ontario on Saturday was tied to terrorist attacks in the United States.

Flames erupted around 5:30 a.m. at the Samaj Temple in Hamilton. Dozens of firefighters got the blaze under control within hours, but the building was still smouldered Saturday afternoon.

The brick temple is near a Muslim mosque that was vandalized Friday night. There were no reports of injuries in either incident.

City police had increased security at the mosque after a threatening message was left on an answering machine. They now plan to expand their patrols around all mosques and temples in the area.

Saturday's destruction of the temple, which served about 800 people for the past 17 years, has numbed the local Hindu community. It wasn't clear were their services would now be held.

Members of Hamilton's Muslim community have expressed shock and sadness over the fire.

There have been several reports of death threats and vandalism against Muslims in Canada since terrorists hijacked four planes and killed thousands of people in the United States Sept. 11.

Many people, from union heads to religious leaders, have denounced the campaign of hatred, and urged tolerance towards all Muslims and Arabs.