Imam expresses concern over insufficient sentence for Mosque attack perpetrator

Imam expresses concern over insufficient sentence for Mosque attack perpetrator

The leader of a mosque, whose congregation fell victim to what authorities have labeled a terrorist attack, voiced his concerns over the lenient eight-year sentence handed to the 24-year-old assailant. Imam Ibrahim Hindy spoke out following the court's verdict on Mohammad Moiz Omar in Brampton.

Omar had previously pleaded guilty to three charges related to the March 2022 attack on the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre, which involved the use of a hatchet and bear spray. The court found him guilty of assault with a weapon, administering a noxious substance with the intent to endanger life, and mischief to religious property, all motivated by bias, prejudice, or hate based on religion and categorized as terrorist activity under the criminal code.

In a phone interview with The Canadian Press, Imam Hindy expressed his concerns, stating, "This person was planning to kill people for no reason other than their faith. Someone planning a mass casualty event against innocent Canadians, who are peaceful, who are vulnerable, their backs are turned to him, they’re in prayer … deserves more than eight years."

Despite being sentenced to eight years, Omar will serve a maximum of five years, taking into account the time he spent in pre-sentence custody.

An agreed statement of facts, submitted to the court, described the chilling incident that occurred during morning prayers at the mosque. Security cameras captured the distressing scene, with footage showing Omar approaching congregants engrossed in prayer and deploying the bear spray before wielding the hatchet. The attack targeted around 30 peaceful individuals who were worshiping at the mosque near Kennedy Road South and Matheson Boulevard East.

Imam Hindy further shared a clip of the security footage on social media, urging awareness about the severity of the attack and the need for stronger measures to deter future acts of violence against innocent worshipers.

The sentencing has brought into focus the issue of appropriate penalties for such acts of terror, with concerns being raised about their efficacy in preventing future violent incidents. The debate over stricter sentencing for terrorist acts continues to be a topic of discussion in the Canadian legal system.