Gunmen killed at least six people and injured eight more when they opened fire in a mosque in Quebec City, Canada on Sunday night. There has been an apparent rise in anti-Muslim incidents in Canada following the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.
Here are some reports of intimidation, vandalism, and violence against members of the Canadian Muslim community since the attacks.
Arson attack on the only mosque in Peterborough
A day after the attacks in Paris, the Masjid Al-Salaam mosque in Peterborough was deliberately set on fire in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The fire started around 11pm on Saturday, November 14. Although nobody was inside at the time, members of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association had been celebrating the birth of a baby there less than an hour earlier. The fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage.
Threats to kill in Quebec
Montreal police arrested and charged 24-year-old Jesse Pelletier on November 18 in connection with a YouTube video that showed someone in a Joker mask threatening to kill Quebec Muslims.
“As of next week, there will be murders all across Quebec,” the masked man said in what VICE News described as a Quebecois-sounding accent. “We will eliminate all of them, one by one. Islam has harmed us enough.”
The masked man, brandishing what appeared to be a handgun, said he had recruited others in his mission and promised to “fire a bullet in the head of one Arab per week” as response to what had happened in Paris. Pelletier was charged with uttering threats, inciting hatred against an identifiable group, causing fear among members of the Muslim community, and using a fake firearm.
Assaults on hijab-wearing women
A Muslim woman was assaulted in Toronto’s Flemingdon Park neighbourhood on November 16 as she waited to pick up her children from school. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, said she was attacked from behind by two men who pulled on her hijab and repeatedly punched her in the head and in the stomach. They reportedly called her a “terrorist” and told her to “go back to your country” before robbing her of some cash and her phone.
Elsewhere in Toronto, two hijab-wearing women were harassed while riding the subway on November 19. Three people reportedly accused the women of being terrorists and one of them was pushed. A witness pulled the emergency alarm on the train but the assailants managed to escape before security showed up.
Houses of worship targeted
The Centre Islamique de l’Est de Montreal, which is run by controversial preacher Adil Charkaoui, was vandalised shortly after the terrorist attacks in Paris when something was thrown through the mosque’s windows.
Another mosque, in Calgary, was broken into Nov. 16 while the congregation attended a vigil for the victims of the Paris attacks. Computers and some cash were taken from the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, but police described it merely as a “crime of opportunity” and do not have any reason to investigate it as a hate crime.
Quebec mosque terror
Six people died and eight were injured after masked gunmen opened fire at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned as a "terrorist attack."
Source: BuzzFeed, AFP