IQNA

11:40 - July 17, 2021
News ID: 3475261
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Vandalism at a mosque in Cambridge, Canada’s Ontario, that could take tens of thousands of dollars to repair is being condemned by people in the community.

Community Responds to Vandalism at Mosque Canada’s Cambridge

 

The Coalition of Muslim Women K-W called the destruction of several rooms and property at the Baitul Kareem Mosque a "cowardly act."

"The Muslim community in Canada has experienced a sharp increase in attacks against them after the London, Ont., massacre in June," the coalition said.

The coalition also called for increased security around Muslim places of worship and said it "hopes the national summit against Islamophobia compels all forms of government to take actionable steps to stop the cycle of harassment and violence against Muslims."

The Waterloo Region District School Board said it was "saddened" by the vandalism, and said some staff, students and their families may be feeling unsafe.

"The WRDSB is committed to confronting and interrupting Islamophobia and all forms of racism, hate and discrimination," the board said in a blog post, where it also offered a number of resources for people who were impacted by the incident.

Cambridge Mayor Kathryn McGarry visited the mosque on Thursday.

"Any act of vandalism, especially in a place of worship, is a hateful act," she said. "It's spiteful, it's mean, it's hateful and I think the important thing is members of our community feel safe."

Regional Chair Karen Redman issued a statement saying officials were "deeply saddened and disturbed" by the break-in.

"This is about more than theft and damage. It is about the impact and trauma experienced by not only the community members that attend the Baitul Kareem Mosque in Cambridge but the entire local Muslim community," the statement said.

"Everyone in Waterloo region deserves to feel safe and hateful acts of Islamophobia have no place in our region or anywhere."

Instead of gathering for their weekly midday prayer on Thursday, some worshipers at Baitul Kareem Mosque worked to clean their prayer space and the kitchen.

Mosque president Nomaan Mubashir said the vandalism happened days before the community is set to celebrate Eid al-Adha next Tuesday. The day is marked by special morning prayers, but important observation may not go ahead.

With the community entering Step 3 of the provincial reopening plan on Friday, Mubashir said, "you can finally meet people. We can have the Eid prayer after a period of more than a year. So it's just tragic."

Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger, who is also the federal minister of diversity, inclusion and youth, said on Twitter that it "breaks my heart" that police had to be called to investigate "yet another hateful Islamophobic attack against the Muslim community. I stand with Baitul Kareem Mosque and against all forms of hate."

Chagger announced earlier this month that a national summit on Islamophobia will be held and it's scheduled to take place next Thursday, according to CBC News.

 

  

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