MONTREAL – Bullet holes puncture a window at a Montreal mosque after a man opened fire Monday evening.
A masked man was caught on the centre’s surveillance camera while it was still light out, shooting from a possible compressed air gun directly at the place of worship.
“When they go to their place of worship, they are being harassed,” said Yusuf Faqiri, the director of Quebec affairs for the National Council of Canadians Muslims.
“Areas are being vandalized and in the tragedy in Quebec City people are being murdered and killed. And that’s problematic and what ends up happening. You have people now fear for their lives.”
The Centre Communautaire Islamique Assahaba on Belanger in Rosemont shared the video on its Facebook page of what happened just before 7 p.m. Monday.
In it, there appears to be a man wearing a mask, in grey sweatpants and a black hooded sweatshirt, walking in the middle of the residential street, coming to a stop, lifting up his hand, and shooting.
Eleven shots can clearly be heard in the video.
The suspect, who was then seen fleeing the area, was chased but was able to get away according to a Facebook post from the mosque.
They say, fortunately, no one was injured in the incident and it was just material damage to the exterior of the building.
“Today this happened to the Muslim community. Who’s next? Is it the Jewish community that’s next, is it the Sikh community that’s next?” said Faqiri.
The mosque posted an update Tuesday saying most of the mosque’s activities have continued, but Fariqi added that worshipers are still unnerved by the attack.
“When you go into your respective place of worship and you’re not effectively allowed to worship and you’re being targeted for the very reason you’re trying to do and that in itself is problematic,” Fariqi said.
“They no longer feel safe in going to their place of worship. They no longer feel as if they are able to be appropriate participants in Quebec society when you have situations, tragedies such as this taking place.”
The Montreal police Hate Crimes Division is using the video to investigate the situation and learn more.
Detectives tell CityNews that they have yet to meet with representatives of the mosque, but that the centre’s front window riddled with at least nine bullet holes.