Man facing hate-related mischief charge after windows shattered at Montreal mosque

Gaven Johnson, 26, arrested by Montreal police early Tuesday after a mosque was vandalized, has been charged with mischief related to religious property that stems from hate, bias or prejudice.
The charge is considered an indictable offence under the Criminal Code, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Johnson appeared in a Montreal courtroom by video link Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Johnson was arrested not far from the Mosquée Tawuba on Ontario Street East near Fullum Street, not long after Montreal police received a call about a disturbance in that area shortly after 3:30 a.m.
The front and side windows at the mosque, which serves Montreal’s African community as well as others who live in the area, had been shattered.
Imam Youssouf Fofana said the mosque has been vandalized at least three times in the past five years, including once when someone tried to set it on fire.
Regardless, he said this time, with the deadly Quebec City mosque shooting top of mind, it feels different.
“I feel worried. First we have to know why the person did it. You hope it’s an isolated act,” he said.
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said acts such as this one are why security around mosques was increased after the Jan. 29 Quebec City mosque shooting.
“We’re very alert to all signs of hatred at mosques and other places of worship,” Coiteux said.

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