Six months after a deadly mass shooting, this Quebec City mosque is receiving a flood of hate mail

The Quebec City mosque that was the target of a mass shooting last January will boost security after a flux of “hateful messages.” And while they report receiving one or two pieces of hate mail per week, one of the most aggressive ones arrived last week. The Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec received a package on Friday containing a defaced Quran and a note suggesting the community use a hog farm as a cemetery. The package arrived two days before a controversial referendum in a nearby town rejected a plan to build a long-sought Muslim cemetery. The note reads: “You’re looking for a cemetery to bury your dirty carcasses? Then here is an ideal place for you. It will smell like pork anyway.” Last year, a pig’s head with a note that read “bon appétit” was found outside the mosque.
While Friday’s package might be the most aggressive message the mosque has received in recent months, the centre’s president Mohamed Labidi says the hate mail has become increasingly common — he told VICE News that the mosque receives one or two hate messages per week. “We have received a lot of messages like ‘go to your home, you’re not safe here,’” he added. “There is some fear. We try to calm our community to pass through these difficulties … and to fight together to eradicate racism and xenophobia.”
The mosque was the scene of a deadly mass-shooting last January, when a gunman opened fire at the end of evening prayers, killing six. Alexandre Bissonnette is set to stand trial for the shooting. He was arrested near the scene of the shooting after reportedly confessing to the crime on the phone to police. His social media presence suggests an affinity for right-wing and far-right causes.
Members of the Quebec Muslim community have increased concern about their safety at the mosque. Labidi said the mosque will be working to implement more security at the front doors and aim to finish in three to four months. A spokesperson for the Islamic Cultural Centre called on worshippers to “remain vigilant and to report to the police and the centre any suspicious threats or behaviour,” on the centre’s Facebook page on Wednesday.

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