Waterloo Regional Police say they are investigating after a mosque in Cambridge was vandalized on Wednesday afternoon.
Police believe the suspects forced their way into the Baitul Kareem Mosque on Elliott Street before the damage was done.
Police say the call came in at 5:30 p.m. and police were on the scene a short time later and that the forensic identification team was brought in to process the scene.
Thousands of dollars in damage were done according to Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada, in what the organization is terming as an “act of hate.”
A spokesperson for the organization told Global News the fact that the damage was done between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. was very alarming.
Asif Kahn said when an imam returned to the mosque, he heard the intruders inside which caused him to exit the premises and call for help.
He said police arrived a short time later but the destruction had already been done.
“Basically the entire kitchen was kind of destroyed,” Kahn said. “Appliances were just ripped apart, things tossed, electronics stolen, the surveillance system was completely smashed and destroyed.”
It is uncertain how much damage was done but Kahn said the final bill will be thousands of dollars.
“I guess our estimate is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of, say, $10,000 to $25,000 but until our property guys get there, they won’t have the proper estimate,” he explained.
Kahn says while the vandals didn’t leave a clue of their intentions inside, he did say it wasn’t something where you just came in to steal a TV and leave or you didn’t just come for a place to hide out, do drugs or something like that.
“It was more than that.”
He noted that the Muslim community remains committed to building bridges with other parts of the community in an effort to make certain incidents like these do not occur again.
“I will say that our community’s motto is ‘love for all, hatred for none’ and I know that seems a little bit odd to be kind of saying at this time, but if this was hate-motivated and whoever those individuals are, we’re not out to get anybody,” he explained.
“This isn’t the Canadian way.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama`at Canada says it has raised its security measures at its mosques and prayer centres across the country.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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