Gatineau mosque attacked by vandals twice in same weekJanuary 6, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Montreal, Quebec, January 6th, 2012- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) expressed its alarm over the second attack of vandalism in one week at the Outaouais Islamic Centre in Gatineau, Quebec.
Graffiti containing anti-Islamic and anti-Arab messages were found on the walls of the mosque on Thursday. It is the third time in the last month and the fourth time in the last four months that the mosque has been a victim of vandalism. Earlier this week, vandals attempted to set fire to two cars in the mosque parking lot. Two windows of the mosque were also broken.“The increasing number of attacks against Islamic institutions in Canada point towards the serious problem of Islamaphobia, racism and hate,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM. “There must be zero tolerance for such violent, hateful acts committed against any community and it must be made clear that such attacks go against the values of our charter and constitution. It is time for our government officials to also recognize the gravity of these attacks and to take concerted action to ensure that they do not happen again.”
“We call on all Canadians to speak out against such attacks and work together to promote peace and social harmony. There is also a need for increased training for the police departments to help recognize potential hate motivated crimes and to dedicate more resources to preventing such criminal acts. Religious institutions and other community organizations that are often targets for such crimes should also be helped to install adequate security systems to help deter such attacks.”
MCM calls on the Gatineau
police department to thoroughly investigate the incident as a potential hate
crime and to move quickly to bring the perpetrators of this criminal act to
justice. MCM further urges all officials and members of the community to
exercise increased caution and report any suspicious individuals or activity to
the authorities immediately.
Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)
Ph.: (514) 748-8427
The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) is an umbrella organization representing a number of Islamic institutions in the Montreal region. There are over 275,000 Muslims in Montreal, about 1,200,000 in Canada and 1.9 billion worldwide.