Canadian police investigate mosque break-in near Toronto
Canadian Police are investigating a break-in to a mosque that occurred on Monday near Toronto.
The incident took place at the Baitul Jannah Islamic Centre in Scarborough, a district of Toronto, where a caretaker found a break-in when he opened the mosque at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday for Salat-ul Fajr. The caretaker found multiple prayer rooms vandalised, copies of the Quran were thrown to the floor, two donation boxes were smashed, and their office was ransacked. On top of that, several surveillance cameras were disconnected and the surveillance system's digital video recorder was stolen.
“They threw out all of our Qurans which were on the shelf. They took the recording for the CCTV cameras. They took it out of the machine.” said mosque president Atiqur Rahman. "It was pre-planned I think – so we don’t have anything to show."
This is just the latest anti-Muslim attack in recent months in Canada following a vehicular murder that killed three generations of a Canadian Muslim family in June.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on 23rd August:
“I am deeply disturbed by the vandalism targeting the Baitul Jannah Islamic Center in Toronto. Islamophobia has no place in Canada and we will continue to take action to make our communities feel safe”.
Toronto Mayor John Tory also spoke out in the strongest terms against an Islamophobic attack.
“There’s evidence from what you can see that the people who did this may have been trying to steal things but they also looked like they were trying to send a message of some kind. And it wasn’t a message of the kind of friendliness and solidarity that we expect in the city between and among different faith groups and so on.”
He also tweeted the following:
“This evening, I visited the Baitul Jannah Islamic Centre in Scarborough with @CllrCrawford to extend our support to the mosque and the Muslim community in the wake of the disgraceful act of vandalism over the weekend”
Doly Begum, a member of Provincial Parliament for Scarborough Southwest said:
“I’m devastated to see the aftermath of this violent break-in. This kind of violence is never okay and we must take urgent action to address acts of anti-Muslim racism and Islamophobia that’s on the rise. Everyone deserves to have a safe and sacred space for practising their faith. These acts are unacceptable and must be stopped."