Imam Ibrahim Hindy said an email threatening his life was accompanied by a picture of men being hanged
TRENTON, ONTARIO (AA) — An imam in Canada said Wednesday he has received a death threat and another that called for the burning down of a mosque near Toronto, Global News reported.
And in the capital of Ottawa a “hateful” note was found inserted into the door of the Islamic Care Centre on Wednesday, the same day a fire broke out at the side of the building.
Imam Ibrahim Hindy said an email threatening his life was accompanied by a picture of men being hanged, the Globe and Mail newspaper reported.
Hindy is a member of a school board’s multi-faith group in Mississauga, a city just outside of Toronto.
Last month, a board meeting was the focus of a violent demonstration against a school allowing Muslim students to pray on Fridays. Pages of the Quran were torn and strewn on the floor by one man during the meeting.
Hindy has spoken out to defend the school board but he said he never expected he would be the target of such hate.
“I never imagined that it would take off and that people would attack me with such vitriol,” Hindy told Global News. “People started attacking me online and from there I received a death threat in my email address.
“They were also on social media, people talking explicitly about burning down the mosque where I work at.”
Police have stepped up patrols around the mosque area, Hindy said.
Following the violent outbreak at the school board meeting in March, rules were enacted to safeguard staff and students. Attendees must now sign-in, provide identification and agree to be recorded on video, school board officials said.
In Ottawa, police said someone set fire to garbage stacked near a doorway to the Islamic Care Centre. But the contents of the note stuck in the door were not revealed.
“We are seeing this as a hate crime,” Omar Mahfoudhi, executive director of the centre, told the Ottawa Citizen newspaper. “We are not ready to talk about what’s on the note. It was clearly hateful. This is intentional.”
Last week, windows were broken at the centre and also at an Ottawa mosque.
A 27-year-old male turned himself in to police after those incidents.