Three Quebec City mosques were the target of xenophobic messages over the weekend.
Signs reading “Islam hors de chez moi” – Islam out of my country – were posted on each of the mosques’ front doors. 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 were targeted.
A group named Québec Identitaire seemingly has taken credit for the posters. The group’s name was written on the posters.
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.
On its Facebook page Québec Identitaire states piously that it is “not a radical extremist group”. Odd, then that it takes its name and symbols from Bloc Identitaire, a far-right anti-Muslim organisation in France.