Fire broke out on Saturday at a mosque in Peterborough in south-eastern Ontario, half an hour after the end of a ceremony to celebrate the birth of a child, revealed the president of the Muslim Association of Kawartha, Kenzu Abdella.
Shortly after the departure of the guests, a neighbor noticed smoke billowing from the building and phoned 911.
Police confirmed on Sunday that the fire had been deliberately set to 23 h.
Mr. Abdella said the group had gone to 22 h 30.
The authorities said they did not know the motive and have no suspect. They could not say whether the incident was linked to attacks in Paris, which were claimed by the Islamic State.
According to the Peterborough Fire Department, damage by fire amounted to $ 80,000.
If the exterior of the building has not really been touched inside was charred and damaged by smoke.
“We did not expect this, we thought it was a minor,” acknowledged the President of the Association.
For now, the building is unusable and Kenzu Abdella does not know where the faithful can go to pray five times a day as long as the mosque is restored.
He told that he was shocked to learn that the fire was suspicious.
“The Muslim community has always had a great relationship with the Peterborough assured Mr. Abdella. We organized a open house last year and the Mayor visited us. ”
Kenzu Abdella is aware that the fire was not accidental and believes that the mosque was the victim of a hate crime.
“I’m devastated, he told. Children come to pray here. ”
Mr. Abdella added, however, that many citizens of Peterborough had offered their support to Association members in the hours that followed the drama and he was grateful for them.