The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR.CAN), a national Muslim civil liberties organization, today denounced the attempted arson of a mosque in Vancouver, B.C. on May 22nd.
According to officials at Masjid Omar al-Farooq, two alleged suspects attempted to set the exterior of their mosque on fire after congregants had finished early afternoon worship. The mosque’s Imam noticed the smoke and rushed outside to extinguish the flames. Local police are now investigating and will review the mosque’s security camera footage.
“We condemn the attempted arson of Masjid Omar al-Farooq. While we are relieved that no one was injured, attacks on any place of worship are deeply offensive and intimidating to local citizens. These incidents do not reflect the values we cherish as Canadians. We urge local leaders in Vancouver and elected officials at all levels to join us in denouncing this hateful incident,” says Ihsaan Gardee, CAIR.CAN Executive Director.
“We urge Vancouver police to investigate this incident as a potential hate crime,” adds Mr. Gardee. “Unfortunately, these incidents which target Canadian Muslims and members of other faith groups continue. We ask community members to remain vigilant and to immediately document and report suspicious behaviour to law enforcement agencies, as well as to CAIR.CAN.”
In the last three years, incidents of vandalism of mosques or mosque construction sites have also occurred in Ottawa , Gatineau, Montreal, Hamilton, Waterloo, Metro Vancouver, Guelph , Winnipeg, Durham and Charlottetown.