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In the wake of several recent attacks, the National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling on the feds to establish a special office to combat Islamophobia
Charges have been laid in a break and enter and vandalism at a Cambridge mosque.
At press time, Waterloo Regional Police have yet to formally make an announcement in the July 14 incident.
But according to a statement released on Sunday by the Muslim community group Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, a suspect has been arrested and charges have been laid in connection with an incident that involved “damages exceeding tens of thousands of dollars, including stolen property,” at Baitul Kareem mosque.
“We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from Canadians across the country,” Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, National President Lal Khan Malik. Said in a statement. “Our mosques will always remain open to all members of the community as a symbol of peace.”
In an initial statement detailing the incident, Waterloo police suggest there may have been more than one person involved.
“We are deeply disturbed by this senseless criminal act and the significant destruction,” said Waterloo Regional Police Chief Bryan Larkin. “Places of worship are sacred, and this criminal act cannot and will not be tolerated in Waterloo Region. Rest assured, we are actively investigating, and committing appropriate resources to this investigation. My thoughts are with our Muslim community as they cope with this destructive and hateful crime.”
The incident follows another in nearby Hamilton days before on July 12 in which a mother and her daughter, both of whom were wearing hijabs, were threatened and chased by a man in a vehicle. Charges have also been laid in that case, but the name of a suspect has yet to be released publicly.
Last month, in the deadliest attack against Muslims since the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting, four members of a Pakistani-Muslim London, Ontario family were run down and killed by a suspect in a pick-up truck. Nathaniel Veltman, the 20-year-old suspect in the case, has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder and terrorism charges.
Ahead of a national summit on Islamophobia called for after the London attack, the National Council of Canadian Muslims is calling for the establishment of an Office of the Special Envoy on Islamophobia, funding for Muslim storytelling, amendments to the Criminal Code “to better deal with hate crimes” and anti-Islamophobia strategies in education.