‘Completely outrageous’: Racist incident at Hamilton mosque condemned


Published June 17, 2024 at 11:41 am

Hamilton Downtown Mosque

Last weekend’s racist incident at the Hamilton Downtown Mosque has been condemned as “completely outrageous and unacceptable” by the National Coalition of Canadian Muslims civil liberties group.

A man entered a mosque shortly before 1 p.m. on June 14, according to Hamilton Police. While police did not confirm the exact location of the mosque, the Hamilton Downtown Mosque at 221 York Boulevard later confirmed the incident occurred there.

Investigators did not confirm much detail citing conflicting reports of what happened. However, the mosque itself claims an unidentified man entered the building amid a third-grade gym class.

The mosque alleged the man made “racist and threatening” comments toward teachers and students. They also claim he brought a copy of the Clear Quran, an English translation of the Islamic holy book, and tore it in half.

Mosque representatives asked the man to leave the premises. When he did not, they called Hamilton Police. Officers escorted the man out of the mosque and launched an investigation. They have not publically identified him.

“We appreciate the priority Hamilton Police is giving this matter as we collaborate to ensure the safety of our community members,” the mosque board of directors wrote.

“The actions of the intruder are unacceptable and threaten the safety of our children,” they continued. The board pledged to “take all precautionary measures” to protect students and worshippers.

“We are working closely with the mosque and community to better understand what happened as there are conflicting reports. The investigation is ongoing and it is too early to determine what took place,” police said. However, police did not respond to a request for an investigative update from inthehammer.

“This is completely outrageous and unacceptable,” said the NCCM, “We expect every political leader to raise their voice in solidarity and a commitment to take action – now, before more folks get hurt.”

This week is among the holiest in Islam as Eid-al-Adha, the “festival of sacrifice” marks Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. It also represents the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and one of the Five Pillars of Islam all Muslims must undertake.

The incident also comes amid a rash of Islamophobic incidents across Ontario, including an attempted arson in London the week before. Investigators believe the family home was targeted due to their vocal support of Palestine amid the ongoing Israeli siege of Gaza.

The arson came shortly after the anniversary of the deaths of four members of the Afzaal family, who a white supremacist intentionally ran down with a pick-up truck on June 6, 2021. Their attacker, Nathaniel Veltman, then 20, was later convicted of terrorism charges in the first case of its kind in Canada.

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