Montreal

Montreal-area mosque vandalized again

Muslims in Montreal's West Island are expressing frustration and sadness after the Dorval Mosque was vandalized for a fourth time this year.

Muslims in Montreal's West Island are expressing frustration and sadness after the Dorval Mosque was vandalized for a fourth time this year.

On Thursday night, members of the mosque discovered the words "Koran 511" were found spray painted in orange on the building's front door.

The mosque has already spent $4,000 cleaning up graffiti and installing security cameras.

Officials are now hoping to use those cameras to catch the culprit.

"Of course it hurts," said Imam Ahmad Shafaat. "But its purpose of intimidating us is not successful."

Controversial verses

As with past incidents, mosque president Mehmet Deger said the words refer to a controversial verse of the Qur'an. In this case, Deger said the verse states that Muslims should not make friends with Jews and Christians. But, he said the verses are taken out of context.

"They are trying to give a message that we don't have good relations with Jews and Christians," said Deger.

He said that is simply not true.

"During Ramadan we served meals to the needy, to the municipal and government officials. We have good relations with everyone, we never differentiate ethnicity or religion or colour."

Deger said it is particularly sad that the vandalism comes as the end of the holy month of Ramadan approaches.

Neighbours living near the mosque declined to comment on the situation for fear their houses could be targeted.

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