The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) on Sunday condemned in the strongest terms the brazen arson attack on the Edson mosque in Alberta late on Saturday evening.
Security footage outside the mosque showed a person in a black hoodie, holding a red jerry can, leaving the premises shortly after 11 p.m.
“We strongly denounce this cowardly act of arson against a mosque, particularly when Canadian Muslims across the country are celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan. We are relieved no one was hurt in the attack and we stand in solidarity with the entire Edson mosque community at this difficult time,” said NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
This is the first time the Edson mosque has been subject to any sort of attack since it opened in 2013, leaving many residents in shock as to how something like this could take place in their town.
“The NCCM welcomes news that the RCMP will investigate this hateful attack as a potential hate crime. A clear message needs to be sent that such vile actions that threaten communities will not go unpunished,” added Gardee.
The Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council said on Saturday that it is appalled by the news of the arson.
“Given that people were praying evening prayers shortly before the fire was lit, we cannot help but remember the Quebec mosque shooting,” said Adil Hasan, Vice President of Civic Engagement. “While we are thankful that there were no injuries or loss of life, the Muslim community in Alberta is shaken and appalled by this arson attack. We expect a full investigation from the RCMP to bring the perpetrator of this heinous attack to justice. Finally, we call on the federal, provincial government to do more to counter Islamophobia and racism”.
Jocelyn Pettitt of the Edison AB Community Watch said on Facebook: “The Muslim community is working with local law enforcement to investigate the incident which was caught on tape by the mosque security cameras. We are very thankful that the fire department responded so quickly and that the fire did not cause more damage.”
She added: “Although we are gravely concerned about this attack on the mosque while Muslims were present, we know this is an isolated incident and does not reflect upon the community in Edson. The Town of Edson is very supportive of the Muslim Community and this is the first attack on the mosque since we opened our doors 2013. The Muslim community feel very safe with its neighbours and the Town of Edson and understand that this incident is does not reflect the views of majority of our fellow Edson residents and neighbours.” -CINEWS