The minus 15-degree weather hasn’t stopped a group of around 50 Pointe-Saint-Charles residents from rallying around the Khadijah Mosque.
And the message neighbourhood residents like Wilma Cobb and Christopher Forester are sending to the vandals was clear:
“Get out, get out this is not your neighbourhood,” Cobb said.
“Grow up honestly, this doesn’t change anything, this doesn’t make anything better for anybody,” Forester added.
Khadijah Mosque has been in Point-Saint-Charles since 2002 but has changed buildings several times.
It’s not the first time the building has been vandalized but the timing of this crime struck a chord with mosque members.
Some members, like Mobarak Hossein, were notified while they were at the funeral for the victims of the attack on a Quebec City mosque on Thursday.
They found a broken window and eggs splattered across the front of the building.
“I don’t know why they hate this kind of things, why they have to do violence,” Hossein said. “We have our commissioner, our MP, so many people came here to support us, this cannot happen again and again.”
Politicians representing the neighbourhood, like MP Marc Miller, South West borough mayor Benoit Dorais and Projet Montréal leader Valérie Plante also took the opportunity to show their support.
Craig Sauvé, a city councillor for the south west borough, said he planned on fighting hate by inviting residents to neighbourhood get-togethers in parks through the summer months.
“I think the best way that we can stop it, perhaps, is to meet and talk and to organize occasions like that,” Sauvé said. “At least at the municipal level that’s something we’re trying to do locally.”
To warm up, supporters were invited inside the mosque to attend afternoon prayers.
The hope, mosque members said, was to create a dialogue with the community at large.
Montreal police say the vandalism on the Khadijah Mosque is being investigated as a hate crime, and mosque members say that they’ve handed over their security footage to the police as they conduct their investigation.
Police said they are investigating 11 hate crimes committed since Sunday’s attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.