Politicians and Muslim Canadian Advocacy Groups React to Possible Hate Motivated Arson at Alberta MosqueWritten by Chelby Daigle
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) and the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC) have issued press releases in response to the alleged arson at the Islamic Society of Edson, that took place late in the evening on Saturday, June 16.
Muslim Link would also like to thank the many people who have been sending messages through our website to the Islamic Society of Edson, expressing their support for Muslims in the community.
From the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Press Release:
Security footage outside the mosque showed a person in a black hoodie, holding a red jerry can, leaving the premises shortly after 11PM. The blaze burned for approximately fifteen minutes before firefighters arrived at the scene to extinguish it.
“We strongly denounce this cowardly act of arson against a mosque, particularly when Canadians Muslims across the country are celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan. We are relieved no one was hurt in the attack and we stand in solidarity with the entire Edson mosque community at this difficult time,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
This is the first time the Edson mosque has been subject to any sort of attack since it opened in 2013, leaving many residents in shock as to how something like this could take place in their town.
“The NCCM welcomes news that the RCMP will investigate this hateful attack as a potential hate crime. A clear message needs to be sent that such vile actions that threaten communities will not go unpunished,” added Gardee.
“We take this opportunity to encourage all mosques, Islamic institutions and community centres to review our ‘Muslim Community Safety Kit’ for specific information on ways to keep communities safe when faced with potential hate crimes and hate incidents. The kit is available both online and for print order,” says NCCM Communications Coordinator Leila Nasr.
“Given that people were praying evening prayers shortly before the fire was lit, we cannot help but remember the Quebec mosque shooting,” said Adil Hasan, Vice President of Civic Engagement, “While we are thankful that there were no injuries or loss of life, the Muslim community in Alberta is shaken and appalled by this arson attack. We expect a full investigation from the RCMP to bring the perpetrator of this heinous attack to justice. Finally, we call on the federal, provincial government to do more to counter Islamophobia and racism”.
From Alberta Premier Rachel Notley:
Last night’s attack on the Mosque in Edson is an affront to all Albertans.
I know I speak for the overwhelming majority of my fellow citizens in condemning this violence in the strongest possible terms.
Alberta’s Muslim community contributes enormously to the cultural and economic fabric of our province, something we saw on proud display just a couple days ago at Eid al-Fitr events across Alberta. To learn someone set fire to a mosque just after evening prayers is sickening.
I want Alberta’s Muslim community to know that your government stands with you. So too do Albertans of all faiths. And we will defend you from those who perpetrate such acts of hate.
An act like this hurts all Albertans.
On behalf of the Province of Alberta, I want to express our collective commitment to fighting racism in all its forms.
From Irfan Sabir, Alberta's Minister of Community and Social Services:
The attack on the Edson mosque is an assault on freedom of conscience and religion. It’s a senseless attack against our community, which is unacceptable. We stand with the Muslim community and against this hate and violence.
From Jason Kenny, Leader of the United Alberta Conservative Party:
Appalling to see an apparent arson attack on the Edson Mosque. An attack on freedom of religion & an entire faith community celebrating its holiest day. All Albertans should stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbours against such acts of hatred.
From Ralph Goodale, the Minister for Public Safety:
I'm deeply concerned about last night's fire at the Edson mosque. All of Canada stands together with the community against this brazen act, which is under investigation. Everyone has the right to practice their faith without fear.
From Ahmed Hussen, the Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada
Very concerned about last night's fire at the Edson mosque. Canadians stand together with the community against this brazen act. Everyone in Canada has the right to practice their faith without fear.
From The Mayor of Edson, Alberta, Kevin Zahara:
We stand united with our Muslim friends. Edson is a welcoming, diverse and inclusive. We’re proud to have a Mosque and value the contributions of our Muslim community.
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