After Terrorism Arrests, Toronto Mosque Vandalized

June 4, 2006

Source: Reuters

On June 4, 2006 Reuters reported, "Vandals smashed 30 windows of a Toronto mosque and damaged nearby cars after the arrest of 17 suspected al Qaeda sympathizers accused of planning bomb attacks. Canadian Muslims expressed fear on Sunday that a backlash had begun. The vandals struck overnight at the west-end mosque, a police official said on Sunday. A second official said he had no information on any link between the incident and the arrests, which began late Friday... Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair told a meeting with Islamic community leaders, 'it is certainly possible that that damage was motivated by hate. Hatred in any form, and certainly in its expressions of violence and damaged property, will not be tolerated in our community.' Mohammad Alam, president of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto, said the vandalism may be the beginning of religiously motivated reprisals against the country's Muslim population, estimated at more than 600,000. He said he backed the government's efforts to combat terrorism, but emphasized nothing had been proven in the suspected bomb plot, which has gripped the country."