Man charged with vandalizing Montreal mosque, caught on camera
Members of the Montreal mosque, which was demolished on Sunday as people were praying inside, say the suspect burst into the building shouting “something Islamophobic.”
According to Mohamad Jundi, the suspect smashed the glass door of the Al Omar Mosque on downtown St. Dominic Street after a community member, a man in his 20s, was verbally assaulted and threatened outside the front door.
“He came behind and had a metal shovel in his hand. He threatened this person,” said Jundi, the mosque’s security chief.
Jundi said it happened around 5 a.m. when about a dozen people were praying inside their homes during the holy month of Ramadan.
The suspect threw a shovel to the ground, chased the young man and tried to hit him with another object, Jundi said.
The young man was able to enter safely and closed the door.
That’s when the suspect found a concrete block and broke the glass door, Jundi said.
“He went into the main hall and started screaming,” he said. “He was yelling in French, but I didn’t know what he was yelling.”
Jundi says she plans to speak with other members who witnessed the incident to find out exactly what was said.
Surveillance video posted on the Canada Muslim Forum Twitter account shows a man breaking the front glass door of the mosque, crawling inside and throwing what appears to be a cinder block of cement at another glass door. is shown.
“Islamophobic terrorism continues across Canada,” he tweeted on the forum.
Jundi says the man fled after several people inside confronted him and told him to leave.
Montreal Police Department (SPVM) officers arrested a 32-year-old man and charged him with mischief.
“They were scared for their lives.”
“The first thing that came to mind was 2017,” Jundi said when she got the call early Sunday morning.
On January 29, 2017, six men were killed and five seriously injured shortly after evening prayers at the Quebec City Islamic Cultural Center.
“They thought someone was coming in. Not only were they threatening[…]they were scared for their lives,” Jundi said.
The incident occurred during Ramadan, when mosques usually have their doors open to serve food to people.
“After this incident, we will see how we manage this,” he said, condemning the vandalism as “unacceptable and reprehensible.”
Jundi spoke with the SPVM’s Hate Crime Division and was told they would do their best to patrol the area for a few days.
SPVM said the situation is changing and the investigation is continuing.
Using files from CTV News reporter Max Harrold.