Montreal

Dorval mosque targeted by anti-refugee threat

The president of a West Island mosque playing a major role in the effort to welcome refugees has expressed concerns after receiving a telephone threat.

Phone call came after mosque pledged to sponsor Syrian families

Mehmet Deger of the Dorval Mosque sorts clothing donations that will go to refugee families the mosque has sponsored. (CBC News)

The president of a West Island mosque playing a major role in the effort to welcome refugees has expressed concerns after receiving a telephone threat. 

"Someone called and said 'we are going to hurt you. We don't want Muslims in Quebec and we are going to do something,'" said Mehmet Deger, president of the Dorval mosque. 

"It was a menacing conversation. She was very upset and nervous, asking: 'why are you bringing Syrians here? We don't want them,'" he said. 

The call was placed on Nov. 18, at 1:30 p.m. by a what sounded like a woman, who was speaking "mostly in French."

Deger reported it to police but no arrests have been made.

The threat is the latest of a series of attacks directed against the mosque, which is sponsoring five Syrian refugee families. One — a family with three kids from the burnt-out city of Aleppo — has already arrived. 

"We found a job for them and furnished the apartment and gave them winter clothing. It went smoothly," said Deger. 

The mosque has been targeted by eight vandal attacks over the last few years, the last one occurring in April 2012.

In one attack, vandals shot paint gun pellets at the mosque following the Boston Marathon bombing.

Another time vandals painted insults on the building after arriving by train in the middle of the night.

Vandals have even fired weapons. "They put six pellet bullets into my car I had to scrap the car," he said. 

No arrests were made in any of the previous incidents. 

Deger said he has no idea who might be behind the attacks but fears that it might be from an organized group.

He vows that the resistance will not slow down the efforts to welcome four more Syrian families over the next few months. 

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