islamophobia quebec

Montreal group asks Legault to recognize Islamophobia after mosque shooting

This incident has elicited very little government response and is not being taken very seriously by the SPVM.

On Monday night, a surveillance camera outside the Assahaba Islamique Community Centre on Belanger in St-Léonard captured footage of a man firing a BB gun at the front door 11 times. Marks were left on the mosque’s window, and the 11 people inside at the time were left shaken — as was the broader Muslim community in Montreal.

The four-person SPVM hate crimes unit is investigating the incident — not the Montreal police anti-terrorism team or gun squad unit, as SPVM critic Ted Rutland has noted — but both Muslim Council of Montreal president Salam Elmenyawi and the mosque’s imam Adil Charkaoui told CTV that a greater response is needed by government officials. Unlike other recent racist or xenophobic attacks and acts of vandalism, this incident has elicited very little government response. (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted about it four days after the event.)

“We said there is Islamophobia and nobody believed us — there was denial, denial, denial by Mr. Legault and others. So I ask our political leaders to change… course and communicate with the Muslim community in a better way.”

—Salam Elmenyawi

Elmenyawi added that he and others in the Muslim community are afraid that this incident could be a warning, a sign of a more significant attack to come. This mosque and others in Montreal have been vandalized before, but not with a firearm.

A vigil was held outside the Assahaba Islamique Community Centre yesterday.

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