30 MORE | Community Response to Hate Crime of Arson at Masjid Al-Salaam / Kawartha Muslim Religious Association (KMRA) – Peterborough, Ontario

Kawartha Muslim Religious Association - Masjid Al-Salam - 000

“We the members of the KMRA are shocked and deeply disturbed by the November 14th incident at Masjid Al-salaam.

“The damage of the incident which is now being investigated as a possible hate crime has been estimated to exceed $80,000.

“In spite of the incident, we are deeply touched and highly encouraged by the overwhelming support we have received from the Peterborough community at large.

“We will continue to work with all faith groups and concerned citizens in raising awareness of peace and tolerance.

“We are thankful to all those who have extended their support to our community and we look forward to strengthening ties with the broader Peterborough community.”

“To all those that have been asking where they can donate, an online fundraiser has been setup by a local community support group in Peterborough. The link is below, your support is much appreciated.”

Kawartha Muslim Religious Association

Powered by FundRazr

“On November 14th (2015), a suspicious fire was discovered inside of Peterborough’s only Mosque. Damages are estimated to exceed $80K. We encourage members of the community, of all or no faiths, to help the muslim community restore their place of worship.

Donations will be passed on to Dr. Kenzu Abdella, President of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, in trust, on a monthly basis.”

Update: This is now being classified as a “hate crime.”

In the time I have been composing this blog post, several more thousands of dollars have been added to the Community Support for Peterborough’s Only Mosque Fundraising webpage.

If you wish donate offline, you may phone St. John’s Anglican Church in Peterborough at 705-745-7624.

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Photographs by Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press

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Councillor Don Vassiliadis, Monaghan Ward for the City of Peterborough

Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett

“If this is found to be a hate crime, it in no way represents the feelings of our community,”

Attacking a place of worship is a despicable act. Masjid Al-Salaam, the name of the mosque, means Mosque of Peace.

The faith communities are cornerstones of outrcity, contributing to charitable organizations and helping those who are less fortunate. Police are investigating this possible crime against our community.

I look forward to the reopening of Masjid Al-Salaam.”

Mayor Daryl Bennett

Minister Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha

“I am deeply concerned about the fire that took place at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association’s mosque in Peterborough during the evening of Saturda, November 15, 2015. My thoughts are with the families who visit the mosque for prayer every week, and I hope that the facility will be open for prayer again soon.

The Peterborough Police Service has advised me that they continue to investigate this incident along with the Peterborough Fire Service and the Ontario Fire Marshall, and I hope residents will join me as I wait to hear the result of their work before commenting further. I know that they will conduct a very thorough investigation into this matter and i thank them for their exemplary service to our community.

The Peterborough Police Service has also advised me that it appears the fire was deliberately set. I wish to take this moment to remind us all that Peterborough-Kawartha is a warm and generous community. We have a proud history as a welcoming and friendly place to live, just as it was when my family arrived here 20 years ago. I know that the residents of Peterborough-Kawartha will be as upset as I am about this incident, and that together we will continue to demonstrate that thse sorts of incidents are in no way reflective of our community as a whole.”

Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha

“This is not the Peterborough way, certainly not the Canadian way,”

“Like everyone here … I was disappointed, shaken up and somewhat confused to be honest.”

“A few individuals may have decided to take part in an ugly act like this but the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive,”

“They are demonstrating that whoever did this, your neighbours don’t agree with you. Community has ‘very loudly condemned this'”

“There are people out there who believe that hate can overcome hate and that is not what’s happening here in Peterborough-Kawartha,”

“In the wake of that darkness, the people of this community have come together and very loudly condemned this.”

“As Canadians, we have the privilege of being able to choose: Do we want to be defined by fear and a divisive narrative, or do we want to be defined by who we truly are, which is a welcoming inclusive nation?”

— Maryam Monsef on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning


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