Muslim groups speak out against desecration of war memorialWritten by Staff Writer
Local and national Muslim organizations have strongly condemned the defacement of a war memorial in Toronto's Coronation Park that took place on Remembrance Day.
On Nov. 12, the media reported that the Victory Peace Memorial was vandalized with the words, “Canada will burn praise Allah” written in what appeared to be black marker. “We call on witnesses to step forward to assist police in finding the perpetrators of this sacrilege. Both Islam and Canada's proud heritage are denigrated by this ignorant act,” Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director of the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a written statement. A week before the incident, news surfaced that a racially charged video mocking Muslims was played at a formal dinner at the Canadian Forces Base Greenwood in Nova Scotia in 2010. Allah, the Arabic word for God used by both Muslims and Christian Arabs, was used in a derogatory manner. “It may be this vandalism was committed in retaliation against the Islamophobic video played at the military base, but that does not justify this equally hateful act in the least,” Mr. Gardee said. “Muslims have served in this country's military, and continue to do so. An act against a Canadian memorial site is an act against our shared history and an act against a sacred space.”
Likewise, the Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region, an umbrella group of over 30 local organizations, said it was “shocked and disgusted” to learn of the vandalism.
“Canadian Muslims, who have also made significant contributions to our country's progress, are a prominent and integral part of the Canadian multicultural mosaic. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Canadians in condemning vandalism, whether it is against religious places such as mosques, churches or synagogues, educational institutions or historical sites,” read the statement from the MCC-NCR.
While the police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, no conclusions have been made as to who is responsible
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