Home News Canada Peterborough mosque set ablaze in reported hate crime

Peterborough mosque set ablaze in reported hate crime

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FundRazr SCREENSHOT
FundRazr SCREENSHOT

On Saturday night at approximately 11 p.m., barely 24 hours after the Paris attacks that left at least 129 people dead, and 99 in critical condition, a fire broke out at the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque in Peterborough, the city’s only mosque.

No one was inside the mosque at the time, and there are no reported injuries.

Kenzu Abdella, president of Peterborough’s Muslim association, the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, called the case of arson “clearly a hate crime.” According to CBC, Abdella said that members of the congregation were in the mosque only an hour before the fire broke out, celebrating the birth of a newborn child.

“The scare for people is that what if this had happened while we were in there?” Abdella said Sunday. “So there’s a bit of uneasiness in the community.”

The blaze reportedly caused some $80,000 in damages, and has shook up the city’s Muslim community. “To us, this is out of nowhere,” Abdella said. “Even when we were hearing all the things that are happening around the world, it never occurred to us that this could happen in our community.”

Peterborough police have confirmed that the fire was deliberate, and are investigating the case of arson as a hate crime. “Offences such as this, committed in relation to a place of Worship are taken very seriously and the Police Service will make every attempt to determine who is responsible,” police said in a statement.

Maryam Monsef, the first Afghan-born MP and Liberal MP for Peterborough-Kawartha, said, “I know the residents of Peterborough-Kawartha will be as upset about this as I am. Together, we will … demonstrate that these sorts of incidents are in no way reflective of our community as a whole.”

Since the blaze, a FundRazr campaign has been set up to help pay for the damages, and has already raised $65,850 at time of publication. “As a Jewish Canadian, I stand in solidarity with you. If there is anything I can do, just let me know,” wrote one contributor.

“We encourage members of the community, of all or no faiths, to help the Muslim community restore their place of worship,” the FundRazr site states.

To donate, click here.

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  • Waffle

    So quick to label this fire a “hate crime”? I suppose arson is out of the question.

  • sunni ways

    Unfortunately, this is what happens when Canadians feel that they are not being heard by their own government.

    • Waffle

      Sorry, Sunni. The fire may have been deliberately set as the police are alleging. But where is the evidence that it is a “hate crime”? Funny how fire has an uncanny habit of breaking out in financially-sruggling houses of worship — all faiths. Very strange.

      • sunni ways

        Point taken.

        • Waffle

          Thought you might be interested, but the NCCM, not the police, are calling this fire a “hate crime”:

          http://www.nccm.ca/category/news-releases/

          • 1badgeless1

            Thought you might be interested, the Toronto Star quotes the police chief declaring they (the police) consider this a hate crime.

  • 1badgeless1

    same opinion if this was a fire started in a synagogue, at night, by some despicable group or individual? Would authorities consider it a hate crime? Would Jewish leaders consider it a hate crime? Would you? (Be honest). Change the names of the places of worship and what’s the difference?

  • 1badgeless1

    What would our government have told us to prevent this atrocity?