National group urges police probe of mosque defacement – But Dorval congregation wants ‘to forgive’ and meet vandals
The Montreal Gazette
A national lobby group called yesterday for a swift police probe after vandals defaced a Dorval mosque for the second time in a year.
But Mehmet Deger, president of the 1,500-member mosque, had a much different reaction.
He didn’t even file a police report on the most recent spray-painting incident at the Turkish Muslim Association of Montreal mosque, he said. It took place about Jan. 26. The previous vandalism took place last June.
“The Quran says to forgive,” Deger explained. “We don’t want to press charges. I would just like to talk to the person or persons (responsible) – we would like to have a friendly discussion.”
He hired a contractor last Friday to remove the spray-painted references to verses of the Quran, the Islamic holy book. Their content – and the handwriting – was similar to the first incident, reported to police last June 21, he said.
Deger spoke after the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations in Ottawa asked for a swift police probe, calling this “a possible hate crime.”
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