Mosque vandalism continues in Canada, Islamic center attacked twice in a week

Published 19.10.2016 00:00

A mosque in the city of Calgary in Canada has been attacked once again, for the second time in a week. The glass on the front door of the Ranchlands Mosque in northwest Calgary was smashed, officials from the Islamic Association of NW Calgary (IANWC) discovered on Saturday morning.

IANWC chairman Dr. Abdul Rahman said, "We live in peace in this neighborhood and we have respect for all our neighbors, we have not faced any negativity for this incident."

Beenish Khurshid stated that it was "disappointing" to see the damage at the mosque, but says she is not afraid. "It was a little bit hurtful to see your place of worship damaged," Khurshid added. The southeast Calgary Islamic center in Queensland, Canada became a target of vandalism last week, revealing a growing number of potential anti-Muslim crimes in the country.

The Islamic center's window was reportedly smashed, and the attackers left a burnt copy of the Quran and a hateful letter. "Vandalizing anybody's place of worship, to me, is a despicable way to act," the head of the southeast Calgary Islamic Center Cuneyd Mahoon said. "Anybody who does that, in any name, including hate or Islamophobia, we should oppose and discourage that."

"As Muslims, we are taught in Islam to love our neighbors, work with our neighbors, be part of their grief and happiness. In that spirit I would like to say we forgive the perpetrator, whoever did this, broke the glass and burned the Quran, and we offer our peace, love and harmony to him," he added.

The latest Islamophobic attack came after anti-Muslim posters were posted across the University of Calgary campus, as CBC news reported. Students, faculty and administrators gathered at the University of Calgary to condemn anti-Muslim posters that were plastered around the campus overnight. About 40 posters were discovered in various locations by morning, and the university was asking people to turn in any others that are found to campus security. A fire was deliberately set at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association's mosque in Peterborough, Ontario in 2015.

Islamophobia and racism exist and they are increasing in Canada's most populous places. The two incidents this week are the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims in Alberta.

The increase in anti-Muslim sentiments emerged after the Paris attacks, not only in Canada, but in many countries in the United States and Europe. Several European countries have witnessed a spike in Islamophobia and anti-migrant sentiment, especially after receiving an unprecedented influx of refugees, who are mostly Syrians fleeing war and violence. Europe's populist-right also rushed to demand an end to the influx of refugees from the Middle East in the wake of the attacks.

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