Published October 3, 2012 | 10:43 am
Port Coquitlam: RCMP in Port Coquitlam, B.C., are investigating a possible hate crime after bacon was left on the doorstep of popular Mosque, Masjid Al-Hidayah Islamic Centre, known for reaching out to people of all faiths.As the Islamic religion forbids the consumption of pork, the community is irked by the move of some mischief monger.
The Coquitlam RCMP is now asking for public assistance in the investigation of an act of mischief against the Islamic Society of British Columbia campus at 2626 Kingsway Avenue in Port Coquitlam.The ISBC campus hosts a Mosque and Islamic Centre and offers a range of cultural and religious activities for all ages.
On Wednesday, September 26th Mounties responded to a report that unknown persons had left several piles of pork bacon on the outside of the Mosque and Islamic Centre at the ISBC site. This is the second time in 18 months that the ISBC has been the target of acts of vandalism and mischief. Investigators cannot eliminate the possibility that these incidents were motivated by hatred until all investigational steps have been completed.
“We believe that whoever is responsible for this act does not know us and does not understand what we stand for,” said Dr. Saad Bahr, President of the ISBC. Dr. Bahr explained that, for Muslims, pork is a symbol of impurity and that its presence spoils purity. “Although this act was wrong and it seems offense was intended, we would welcome those responsible into our community to learn more about us and our beliefs.”
“It’s disturbing that someone would choose to target Dr. Bahr and his community like this,” said Supt. Claude Wilcott, officer in charge of the Coquitlam RCMP. “We want to send a clear message that we take this type of activity seriously and it won’t be tolerated in our jurisdiction.”
The Coquitlam RCMP is working with Dr. Bahr and the Islamic Society of BC as well as the Integrated Provincial Hate Crimes Unit on this investigation. If you have any information related to the incident, please contact the Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 and quote file number 2012-27061.