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Canadian PM ‘deeply disturbed’ at violent threats against mosque

30th Oct 2020
Canadian PM ‘deeply disturbed’ at violent threats against mosque

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. (Credit: Mattias Nutt/World Economic Forum Flickr)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the news that an unnamed Toronto mosque received an “extraordinarily” violent threats.

“The threats specifically contained a promise that guns had been procured to ‘do a Christchurch all over again,’” the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) tweeted on October 10, referencing the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand in 2019 that killed 51 Muslims.

Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the NCCM, said the mosque will not be named because of the fear it would unleash more threats.

“These (email) messages were extraordinarily violent,” he said. “When we get these threats, we don’t take them lightly. And that’s why the mosque was shut down and remains shut down.” Toronto Mayor John Tory called the threats “completely unacceptable”
.

Mosque stabbing

The threats come on the heels of the stabbing to death of a volunteer mosque caretaker in the Toronto area last month.

Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, 58, was sitting in a chair outside the IMO Mosque in Toronto on September 12 controlling access to comply with health regulations, when he was approached by a suspect and stabbed to death.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the stabbing.That crime prompted 25 human rights groups to send a letter on October 5 to Trudeau asking for an action plan to shut down white supremacist groups “so that we don’t continue to keep having to go to funeral after funeral, to respond to threats after threats,” said Farooq.

“It needs to stop and the way that needs to stop is through a national action plan to dismantle these kinds of white supremacist, neo-Nazi, violent, Islamophobic or xenophobic groups. Obviously, there’s a lot of fear,” Farooq said. “There is a lot of concern. What is going to happen next?”

But Farooq said the Muslim community would not be cowed by threats. “I won’t allow someone who was trying to terrorize us and intimidate us, succeed,” he said. “We’re going to stand up as Canadians. We’re going to stand up (as) Canadian Muslims. And I know that so many communities are standing with us.” It was not known when the mosque would reopen.

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