Monday, October 27, 2014

Alberta | Cold Lake Mosque Vandalized With Words 'Go Home'

HuffPost - Police are investigating after a mosque in Cold Lake, Alta. was vandalized Thursday night. A photo posted to Twitter shows graffiti of the words "Go Home" and "Canada" spray-painted on the outside of the mosque.

The building's front windows were smashed as well, reports the Edmonton Journal.

According to the Cold Lake Sun, business leaders have been coming to the mosque Friday morning to condemn the vandalism and offer their support.

Mayor Craig Copeland told the Sun the vandalism is "not what Cold Lake is about," adding that he is "disappointed" something like this would happen in the community.

Albertans on Twitter made it clear they do not tolerate or support the messages left on the mosque:

Board member Mahmoud Elkabri says he noticed the vandalism when he went to open the doors for morning prayers.

He says his family has lived in Cold Lake since 1996 and he has always felt welcome.
He believes the vandals could be from outside the community and doesn't think the act is connected to any anti-Muslim sentiment following attacks on soldiers in Ottawa and Quebec.

Elkabri says the mosque has been open for four years and has been targeted before, but that was part of vandalism done to businesses in the area.

Staff Sgt. Troy Hadland of the Cold Lake RCMP called the graffiti "shocking."

“First and foremost we want to identify who is responsible,” he told the Journal.

"That’s what we’re putting our resources toward, especially in light of the things that have been going on.”

CTV News reported that a number of Cold Lake residents arrived at the mosque Friday afternoon to help clean up, patching up the broken windows with temporary cardboard signs and scrubbing off the graffiti.

Earlier this week Canadian CF-18 fighters departed CFB Cold Lake to participate in airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq

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