An Edmonton mosque has been vandalized with a symbol of hatred, just nine days after a violent attack left four members of a Muslim family dead in London, Ont.
On Tuesday morning, it was discovered that the Baitul Hadi Mosque in the Ottewell neighbourhood of east Edmonton was tagged with a swastika symbol.
“We are deeply disturbed by the rising acts of violence against the Muslim community,” said Nasir Butt, Imam of the Baitul Hadi Mosque, in an email. “This is not the way of Canadians, and we must work together to combat anti-Muslim sentiment.”
Mosque president Humayun Ahmed said the vandalism was reported as soon as it was discovered.
“When we informed the police they understood the gravity of the situation and they forwarded us to the hate crime unit,” said Ahmed.
The hate crimes unit is reviewing security video and Ahmed said officers had been at the mosque for most of the day.
The vandalism comes just days after a violent attack on a Black Muslim woman wearing a hijab in north Edmonton. There have been at least six hate-motivated attacks on Black and racialized Muslim women in Edmonton in recent months.
“We hope that with our local community, our congregation at the mosque, along with all of our neighbours here we will come out of this [united],” said Ahmed.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Twitter that it was “hurtful” to see the mosque vandalized.
“I have visited this mosque many times,” he said. ” A wonderful community made up of proud Canadians who are constantly giving back to our broader community. I hope the hateful vandals responsible for this are identified and face the full legal consequences.”
Kenney pointed to new grant program that helps fund security measures to deter hate crimes.
Edmonton police have not yet responded to a media request for information.