(Ottawa, Canada – 11/1/04) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-CAN) today called on local police to treat the recent
vandalism of the Manitoba Islamic Association mosque in Winnipeg as a
possible hate crime.
Reports indicate that on Sunday, October 31, 2004, vandals broke the glass
panels on both sides of the front entrance of the mosque. No worshipers
were present inside the mosque at the time.
Earlier in the week, threatening phone calls were made to the mosque and
subsequently reported to the police.
This is the second time that the mosque was vandalized. The first incident
occurred in 2001, when vandals smeared the front of the mosque with animal
feces, eggs and white paint. Garbage was also thrown in the area of the
mosque. No arrests have been made.
In a statement issued today, CAIR-CAN wrote:
“We call on local officials and the Winnipeg police to work together with
the Muslim community to ensure the safety of the mosque.
“Canadian Muslims must have assurances that their institutions will be
protected, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan, where worshipers
frequent the mosque more often and in large numbers.”
Since September 2001, CAIR-CAN has documented hate activity against 19
Islamic institutions and mosques, including attempted arson, destruction
and defacement of mosque property, and graffiti threats. Six of those
incidents have occurred in the last 7 months.
CONTACT: Abdurahman Salman at 613-254-9704; E-mail: Canada@cair-net.org