As police called the fire bombing of Peterborough’s only Mosque, Masjid Al-Salaam (Mosque of Peace) on Saturday night a hate crime, the community raised more than $100,000 to repair the place of worship.
But some Muslims and members of other faiths are asking, can you repair the pain?
Also in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris, a Hindu Temple in Kitchener, Ram Dham Hindu Temple had several windows at the rear entrance of the temple shattered late Sunday night, President Dilip Dav said.
In North York, a Muslim woman on her way to pick up her children from school was physically assaulted by two men and called a “terrorist.” Yesterday, Mayor John Tory visited the school to speak with the students. Earlier, he condemned the attack on the woman.
Toronto police have designated that attack a hate crime. The suspects allegedly punched the woman, remove her hijab and robbed her of her cell phone and money.
Compounding the violence, on Monday night a Calgary mosque was broken into while the mosque’s imam was holding vigil for the victims of the Paris attacks.
Computers and money from donation boxes were taken from the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, in what police told CBC News was most likely “a crime of opportunity” but mosque officials feel the break-in was an act of unfair backlash against Muslims in response to Friday’s violence in Paris.
“These so-called “Islamic’ attacks in the name of a so-called ‘Islamic’ state are an evil abuse of the word Islam,” the Muslim Council of Calgary added in reference to the Paris shootings and bombings.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “who noted with deep regret a number of highly disturbing acts aimed at certain Canadians,” took time off from the Manila APEC summit on Wednesday to issue a statement: “Diversity is Canada’s strength. These vicious and senseless acts of intolerance have no place in our country and run absolutely contrary to Canadian values of pluralism and acceptance.”
Trudeau referenced the fire at the mosque in Peterborough, the smashed windows at the Hindu Temple in Kitchener and the attack on the Muslim mother in Toronto.
“Canadians understand that religious groups around the world suffer persecution regularly at the hands of violent extremists,” he said in the release. “Our focus must be on stopping the people responsible for the terror, and continuing to fight hate by embracing Canadian values.”
On Tuesday, Trudeau took to Twitter, saying, “The acts of intolerance seen here this week have no place in Canada. We must fight hate by embracing our values of pluralism and acceptance.”
Trudeau stressed “Muslim-Canadians contribute enormously to the social and economic fabric of our nation and Canadian authorities will not abide innocent and peaceful and peaceful citizens being targeted by acts of vandalism and intolerance.”
He noted that while the terror attacks in France shocked “peace loving people” around the world, the focus should be on those who committed those heinous acts.
“It is equally important for Canadians to understand that Muslims around the world are also being persecuted regularly by these violent extremists,” he said. “We are in this together.”
Meanwhile, Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evens issued a statement. “To the Muslim Advisory Council to share with the community: In light of the tragic events in Paris relating to terrorism / radical incidents and the adverse effect it has had in the Greater Toronto Area over the past few days, we have asked our officers to remain vigilant when conducting their patrols around Mosques and Islamic centres.”
And Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie delivered a message of love during a vigil service to commemorate the innocent lives lost following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Baghdad and Beirut.
“It is with heavy hearts that we come together to mourn the senseless loss of life.”
She said Mississauga stands shoulder to shoulder with these communities and “we mourn with the families of those who lost loved ones to these unthinkable acts of violence.”