British Columbia

Vancouver mosque subject of attempted arson attack

A mosque in Vancouver has been hit in an attempted arson attack.

No damage done, but some members left shaken

An arson attempt was made on Vancouver's Al Jamia Masjid mosque but trustee Haroon Khan said it won't change the welcoming nature of his place of worship. (CBC)

A mosque in Vancouver has been the target of an attempted arson attack.

Representatives from the Al Jamia Masjid mosque at 655 W. Eighth Ave. said a man tried to light up cardboard boxes in the courtyard of the building Thursday night.

In an email to CBC News, Vancouver Police confirmed a patron of the mosque put out the fire that burnt the corner of a box.

"There was no damage to the building or the hedge in the courtyard," said Const. Randy Fincham.

Still, mosque trustee Haroon Khan said the incident has shaken patrons. 

"This is a place of worship, it's a place of peace ... and to have an incident like this is very painful for us." 

Khan said the incident happened around 9 p.m. PT following evening prayers when congregation members were leaving the building.

"We're very grateful that we dodged a bullet in that if people were not here, the building could've very easily caught on fire."

Khan said a member of the mosque approached who he thought was a "suspicious" individual at the side of the building.

After a brief encounter, he said the suspect took off.

"Moments later, the flames erupted from the boxes that were on the side. The fire was very quickly put down, thankfully," he said.

The Al Jamia Masjid mosque on West Eighth Avenue in Vancouver had cardboard boxes sitting in the courtyard that were lit on fire. (CBC)

Vancouver police say the suspect has not been identified and the investigation is ongoing.