The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is condemning in the strongest terms the brazen arson attack on the Edson mosque in Alberta late on Saturday evening.
The town is about 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.
Security footage outside the mosque showed a person in a black hoodie, holding a red jerry can, leaving the premises shortly after 11PM.
The blaze burned for approximately fifteen minutes before firefighters arrived at the scene to extinguish it.
“We strongly denounce this cowardly act of arson against a mosque, particularly when Canadians Muslims across the country are celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan. We are relieved no one was hurt in the attack and we stand in solidarity with the entire Edson mosque community at this difficult time,” said NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
This is the first time the Edson mosque has been subject to any sort of attack since it opened in 2013, leaving many residents in shock as to how something like this could take place in their town.
“The NCCM welcomes news that the RCMP will investigate this hateful attack as a potential hate crime. A clear message needs to be sent that such vile actions that threaten communities will not go unpunished,” added Gardee.
In a separate press release, the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council said it was appalled by the news.
“Given that people were praying evening prayers shortly before the fire was lit, we cannot help but remember the Quebec mosque shooting,” Adil Hasan, Vice President of Civic Engagement, said in the release.
“While we are thankful that there were no injuries or loss of life, the Muslim community in Alberta is shaken and appalled by this arson attack. We expect a full investigation from the RCMP to bring the perpetrator of this heinous attack to justice. Finally, we call on the federal, provincial government to do more to counter Islamophobia and racism”.