Ottawa Funds Increased Security Procedures in Mosques

OTTAWA – Ottawa federal government has allocated funding to increase security procedures in mosques, after the recent rise in anti-Muslim hate attacks.

“Recent incidents are a jarring reminder that the inclusive and generous Canada we all want is now, and ever will be, a precious and delicate work-in-progress that we dare not take for granted,” Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency, announced in a written statement Monday, Ottawa Citizen reported on Monday.

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“The Security Infrastructure Program is an important initiative to help protect all Canadians’ right to be free to practice their faith and culture without fear. There is no social license for hate, not in Canada.”

The $46,000 funding, approved on Monday, will support the installation of a security camera system inside and outside the Ottawa Muslim Association on Northwestern Avenue.

It will also fund a similar system at the Muslim Association’s Hall of Peace. The approval followed several attacks targeting the mosque.

“In the case of the two projects, the Ottawa Muslim Association has reported incidents of hate-motivated crime at their sites in the past, and their application met all of the program’s eligibility criteria,” said Jean-Philippe Levert, a spokesperson for Public Safety Canada.

Naeem Malik, president of the Ottawa Muslim Association, said the Ottawa mosque has been a target of several hate crimes in the last year.

For example, in April several windows were broken at the Ottawa Muslim Association.

In the same week, the Islam Care Centre was targeted twice, once when windows were broken and another when someone left a hateful note and set fire to the building.

“These crimes showed us all as Canadians the importance of working together to protect our common values and the freedom that we all enjoy,” said Malik.

“The funds received from Government of Canada will help the Association increase security around its properties, which protect worshippers and visitors to the mosque and provide a safe environment to offer prayers and perform religious practice,” he added.