Quebec City, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu mosques vandalized
Mosques in Limoilou, Ste-Foy and Quebec City proper were targeted with message 'Islam out of my country'
Four mosques in the province — one in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and three near Quebec City — were the target of vandalism over the weekend.
In St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a rock was thrown through one of the windows of the Centre Culturel Al-Imane.
Near the Quebec City area, three mosques were targeted with xenophobic messages.
A mosque in the Limoilou neighbourhood, the Islamic cultural centre of Quebec City in Ste-Foy and the capital city mosque in Quebec City proper had posters on their front doors that read “Islam horsdechez moi” — Islam out of my country.
A group named Québec Identitaire seemingly has taken credit for the posters. The group's name was written on the signs.
The Mosquée de la Capitale released a video that shows two people running up to the building in the dark, putting up the posters, and racing off.
Quebec City police are investigating to decide whether these acts will be considered criminal.
Khalil Bahji, who has been attending the Limoilou mosque since 2007, said he and his fellow congregation members are saddened by the attack.
He said the members of the surrounding community are also disappointed, adding that they have been supportive in the past.
We thought about moving to another place when our lease was about to end, Bahji told CBC Daybreak on Monday.
He told host Mike Finnerty that a member of the community approached members of the mosque and asked why they wanted to leave and whether the neighbours had done anything to make them feel unwelcome.
"This action doesn’t reflect the real opinion of the people who surround the mosque," Bahji said.
An administrator at another mosque said they have handed over a security tape to police showing two people putting up signs on their door.
The administrator told Radio-Canada that he believed they were isolated incidents and that he wasn’t worried, shrugging it off as an unfortunate incident of cultural ignorance.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims condemned the attacks.
"While these types of acts are hurtful, Canadian Muslims know they do not represent the views of the vast majority of their fellow citizens. We call on authorities to investigate these incidents as hate crimes so that a clear message is sent that these acts have no place in our communities,” said NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee in a written statement.