A car belonging to the president of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City was set on fire in what is yet to be determined as a hate crime.
The incident took place outside President Mohamed Labidi’s home around 1:30 A.M. on Aug. 6, only 36 hours after Quebec City, Canada, announced that it will be allotting land to the mosque in order to create its first entirely Islamic cemetery.
“These people in Quebec City, they keep on being hit, stroke after stroke, story after story. Poor them,” Imam Hassan Guillet said. “They have the right to live peaceful, honest and calm lives like everyone else.”
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City was formerly the target of a mass shooting that left six dead and more than a dozen wounded in January earlier this year. Alexander Bissonnette, 27, was charged by the police in connection with the fatal shooting.
Feces was found thrown at the mosque a few days following the incident that took place in January.
“It is not about simple extremist demonstrations against immigration anymore. Extremist acts are now targeting our lives, us, Quebec and Canadian citizens of Muslim faith as well as personal and religious goods, even though we only aspire to live together calmly in this beautiful city of Quebec City,” read a statement released by the mosque on Wednesday.
It also requested that the city’s politicians look into the rising extremism. “We urge the public and the politicians of Quebec and Canada to give diligent and particular attention to the rise of extreme right in Quebec City,” the statement said.
Police currently do not have any suspects and have yet to determine what motivated the most recent attack, which was kept quiet for three weeks at the victim’s request and for strategic reasons.
Quebec City’s mayor, Régis Labeaume, expressed his “shock” and “disappointment” at the “extremely worrying” incident.
“Hate crimes are adding up. This is worrying us a lot, a lot, a lot,” Labeaume said. “You are our neighbors and we love you,” he said to the Muslim community.
Imam Guillet also expressed his anger and sadness regarding the situation. “Some people have an agenda of hatred, of xenophobia and Islamophobia and they think everything is allowed… (These people) have the right to hate me, to not love me, to tell me their opinion that I’m terrible but (they) don’t have the right to threaten me and to burn my car. We’re off limits here.”