(Montreal) A 32-year-old man is facing a mischief charge after an alleged break and enter at a downtown Montreal mosque on Sunday morning.
The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) does not believe this is a hate crime, said its spokesperson, officer Véronique Dubuc. The suspect is expected to appear in court at a later date.
A Muslim group posted CCTV footage on social media showing someone using a stone to break into the mosque and then to enter the prayer hall.
The video from the Canadian Muslim Forum also shows an altercation involving this person and a handful of worshipers at the Al-Omah Al-Islamiah mosque, located in the Quartier des spectacles.
Forum chairman Samer Majzoub said no one was injured – although a teenager narrowly escaped the suspect – saying several worshipers managed to drive the intruder away.
Mr Majzoub added that the video was released to raise awareness of the attack and urge people to be careful during the holy month of Ramadan, which ends later in April.
The deputy of Laurier-Dorion, Andrés Fontecilla, condemned “without any reservation this Islamophobic attack against the Al-Oumma Mosque which occurred in the middle of the month of Ramadan” in a publication on Twitter.
“I am still surprised that the assailant was released so easily, but let justice take its course,” added the elected representative of Quebec solidaire.
The MP for Ville-Marie–Le Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Sœurs, Marc Miller, said he hoped “that this Islamophobic attack will be the subject of a full investigation by the SPVM”.
“The faithful must feel safe when they gather for their prayers,” the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations continued in a tweet.