Blair urges tolerance, calm after dozens of windows smashed
Jun. 5, 2006. 01:00 AM
Omar Farouk wandered slowly around the huge Rexdale mosque yesterday, pausing briefly at each of the three dozen broken windows and glass doors.
"It is a sad day for us," the president of the International Muslims Organization of Toronto said as he surveyed the overnight vandalism that caused more than $15,000 damage at one of the city's biggest mosques.
"This is the house of God," he said. "Whoever did this has no respect for God and is not a decent citizen of this country."
The windshields of five vehicles parked behind the mosque were also smashed in the early morning spree.
Farouk said the attack, which appeared to be the work of a single vandal using an axe or hammer, was the first vandalism at the mosque since a single window was smashed the night following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.
Farouk said he feared the latest vandalism may have been a backlash after the arrests of 12 men and five youths accused of planning terrorist attacks in the Greater Toronto area.
This is as equally disturbing as the planned terrorist attacks in Ontario that were foiled by law enforcement officials.
I won't say what famous event this vandalism reminds me of, but I hope never to see its like in Canada again. It is important that we all live in peace and friendship together, and not start lashing out at Muslims, most of whom condemn terrorism.
More to the point, we can all do more to promote peaceful co-existences of different cultures in Canada, something for which our nation is internationally famous.
posted by John Murney at 7:45 AM on Jun 05 2006
John Murney said:
I think I know what you are trying to say Lance. I live in the real world, and am aware that fighting terrorism requires toughness and action. I also think it requires tolerance and acceptance at the local level, so we don't see any more Kristallnacht types incidents like the one just reported in Toronto. I find this attack, just like those against synagogues, to be deeply disturbing and unacceptable, and I know you do too.
"Just so I'm clear on the motif here, are we equating vandalism to a plot of mass murder?"
John Murney said:
"Stubblejumper, your comments are quite disgusting. I did not say that, and you know it."