Man charged with mischief after vandalism of Toronto’s TARIC mosque

Man charged with mischief after vandalism of Toronto’s TARIC mosque

Toronto police have arrested and charged a man in connection with recent vandalism at the TARIC mosque.

Police took into custody a suspect shortly after the incident at the Toronto and Region Islamic Congregation (TARIC) Islamic Centre on November 9th. A 50-year-old man has been charged with mischief under $5,000.

From security footage, a man was seen approaching the mosque with a large rock in his hands, before 7 p.m. He threw the rock through a window, damaging the window, a wall adjacent and the tile floor, police said. No one was injured.

“All religious sites and all places of worship should be safe havens,” said Haroon Salamat, Chairman of TARIC Islamic Centre, in a social media post. “Regrettably in a matter of four months, another ugly incident of deliberate vandalism occurred at the TARIC Islamic Centre on November 9, 2021.”

“Immediate action by the Mosque custodian who witnessed the incident and called 911, enabled the police to apprehend the culprit. Thanks to the quick response of officers from Toronto Police Service (31 Division).”

"Incidents like these tear up the fabric of society ... the community, of any faith group," Insp. Keith Smith, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, told reporters at the mosque on Sunday. "Although there were no physical injuries, I'd suggest there's injuries such as emotional harm, psychological harm."

Toronto Mayor John Tory visited the mosque on Sunday. ”Today, I visited the TARIC Mosque to extend my profound support to the Toronto and Region Islamic Congregation and Muslim community in the wake of an act of vandalism,” said Mayor Tory. “This hatred and bigotry has absolutely no place in Toronto.”