Muslims arriving for their regular morning prayers at the Makkah-al-Mukarramah mosque before dawn Saturday were dismayed to discover one of the plate glass windows in the double front door had been smashed.
It was the third time this year their building on Gouin Blvd. W. in Pierrefonds has been vandalized.
In January, the mosque was defaced with paintballs and about two months ago someone took a baseball bat and smashed four of the building’s main windows.
“When the paintball was done, we shrugged it off as the work of confused kids,” said congregation secretary Jameer Rauph. “When the windows were smashed, we started to get a little bit uneasy, but we were ready to forgive. Now, with this incident, the community as a whole is starting to worry.”
Imam Ismail Jogiyat said he doesn’t believe the mosque has been singled out by anti-Muslims.
“It’s mindless vandalism,” he said. “Sometimes weak people do stupid things. As a spiritual leader, I tell my congregation perhaps we are not honouring God enough. We have to pray harder for our enemies.”
None of the men who gathered for prayers yesterday felt personally threatened. But they point out their congregation is small, and can’t afford to repair the damage.
One member of the Sunni congregation, Syed Zaheer Ali, suggested the release of the Bouchard-Taylor report on the reasonable accommodation of minorities might have sparked the latest incident.