National Muslim advocacy group denounces Quebec mosque vandalism

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – September 4, 2013) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) today denounced the recent vandalism of a mosque in Saguenay, Quebec which was sprayed with what was claimed to be pig blood over the Labour Day weekend.

An Islamophobic letter accompanying the vandalism was reportedly left at the mosque and sent to media outlets. It told Quebec Muslims to « assimilate or go home. »

See: CBC – Quebec mosque vandalized with possible pig blood

« We condemn this cowardly act of hate and intimidation against the Muslim community in Saguenay and urge local police to investigate this incident as a hate crime, » says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

« The PQ government, contrary to its claims that it’s so-called proposed ‘Charter of Quebec Values’ will be ‘a strong uniting element between Quebecers’, is fostering a climate of suspicion, fear, and exclusion and this latest attack on a mosque is likely a manifestation of that fear. The PQ government’s salvo against religious freedom could be interpreted as a green light to exclude and bully minority communities in Quebec, » adds Gardee.

« We were heartened by the strong statement of support denouncing this heinous act from the Minister of Multiculturalism, the Hon. Jason Kenney, as well as the subsequent statement from PQ leader Pauline Marois.

« While we do not believe this act represents the sentiments of the majority of citizens of Saguenay, or the rest of Quebec, we urge community members in Quebec and elsewhere to reference NCCM’s community safety kit to secure their places of worship, to remain vigilant, and to immediately report any suspicious activities to local authorities and NCCM. »

NCCM is an independent, non-profit, grassroots organization that is a leading voice enriching Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111

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