Mosque vandalized in Montreal's Pointe-Saint-Charles neighbourhood
Sprayed with graffiti earlier this week, the Khadijah Masjid Islamic Centre had a window smashed Thursday
A Montreal mosque was vandalized Thursday, the same day that thousands of people of different faiths attended a funeral elsewhere in Montreal for the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting.
Police said that between 7 and 8 a.m. an employee at the Khadijah Masjid Islamic Centre in Montreal's Pointe-Sainte-Charles neighbourhood discovered a window had been smashed with a heavy object. The building had also been egged.
Montreal police spokesman Daniel Lacoursière said the vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime, although another motive is possible.
The director of the mosque, Ashek Ahmad, told CBC News the mosque had been spray-painted with graffiti a few days ago. He said he didn't think anything of that incident until the vandalism escalated this morning.
Ahmad had attended the Montreal funeral for the victims of the Quebec City mosque shooting. When he got home, he told his 20-year-old daughter, Fatima Ahmad, that their mosque had been the target of vandalism.
"I was shocked and then scared," she told CBC News.
"I don't know what's going to happen next. Is this the end, or the beginning of something?"
Fatima Ahmad, a first-year student at McGill University, said that she saw an outpouring of support following the Quebec City attack Sunday.
"But I also see the hate doesn't seem to end."
Musabbir Alam, co-founder of the Canadian Muslim Alliance, was at the funeral for the Quebec City mosque victims today when he found out the Pointe-Saint-Charles mosque had been vandalized.
"We were not expecting that, on the same day," Alam told CBC News.
"It's kind of ironic that it could happen. On the one side, we're actually celebrating solidarity, and the other side, this is happening."
Craig Sauvé, the city councillor for Montreal's Southwest borough, called it an act of terrorism.
"You know why? The congregation of Khadijah Mosque on Centre Street are our sisters and brothers," Sauvé said in a statement on his Facebook page.
"They are members of the Pointe-Sainte-Charles community."
Whoever committed the vandalism is a "small-minded xenophobe" who does not speak for the community, he said.
A solidarity rally will be held in the neighbourhood, at the corner of Ropery and Centre streets, at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.
The MP for Ville-Marie-Le Sud-Ouest-Île-des-Soeurs, Marc Miller, condemned the vandalism in a tweet this afternoon.
I have just confirmed that a mosque in my riding in the centre of Montreal has been vandalized. I condemn this disgusting act!—@MarcMillerVM
With files from Sarah Leavitt