Community says police do not believe it was a hate crime Author of the article:Scott LauriePublishing date:Jul 18, 2021 • 7 hours ago •
Waterloo Regional Police have charged a man after a mosque was ransacked and vandalized in Cambridge on July 14.
Police said the evidence does not support the inference that the crime was motivated by racial or religious hatred.
“So hopefully, it wasn’t real hate, it was just some crazy episode that the individual had,” said Asif Khan, a spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama at Canada.
The Baitul Kareem Mosque was ransacked last Wednesday and sustained tens of thousands of dollars in damage to its wall, property, and appliances.
Police said officers charged a 35-year-old Cambridge man with offences that include breaking and entering and causing property damage over $5,000.
Members of the local Muslim community initially feared the attack and theft was a targeted hate crime.
“The bar for hate crime is at a certain criteria which the police felt that this did not meet,” Khan said. “And we are fine with how they have perceived it.”
Efforts to repair the damaged mosque continue and are expected to take another week to complete.
“Nobody wants to see anything like this happen for any place of worship. Doesn’t matter if it’s a mosque, church, synagogue, temple, or whatever,” Khan said.
Offers to help pay for repairs have been pouring in since the attack.
“We have had an amazing outpouring of support from the local community from people across Canada and even people around the world,” Khan stated.
“We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from Canadians across the country,” added Lal Khan Malik, national president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at.
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But the local community said it has the resources to fix the mosque itself and is redirecting any assistance it receives to the Cambridge Shelter.