Mayor Tory visits vandalized mosque, and says it appears it was meant to send message
Aug. 24, 2021
Toronto’s mayor is expressing anger after a city mosque was vandalized over the weekend.
John Tory called Monday for anyone with information on what happened at the Baitul Jannah Islamic Centre to contact police.
“There’s evidence, from what you can see, that the people who did this may have been trying to steal things. But they also look like they were trying to send a message of some kind,” Tory told reporters outside the mosque after he’d paid a visit there Monday evening.
“And it wasn’t a message of friendliness and solidarity of the kind we expect in the city between and among different faith groups.”
Police said it’s believed someone broke into the mosque Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The force said items reported stolen from the mosque include a donation box and a digital video recording system.
Investigators said there is no evidence to suggest that what happened was hate motivated but the force’s hate crimes unit has been notified out of an abundance of caution.
Tory stressed that police are still investigating, and have to be cautious in what they say.
Police said they’re aware of previous incidents at the same location, including break and enters in March, April and June 2019.
An individual was charged in relation to those earlier break-ins. Police said it’s too soon to say whether those are linked to the most recent report.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2021.