Toronto police investigate 'hateful messages' spray-painted on west-end mosque
Toronto police are looking into a suspected hate-motivated incident after graffiti was spray painted outside a mosque in the city's west end.
Police say they received a call about a reported hate crime at an Islamic Centre in the area of Oak Street and Weston Road at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
The words "Allah is a lie" and "Death to dictator" could be seen outside the Towfiq Islamic Centre Friday.
In a news release Friday, police said two suspects spray painted graffiti that contained "hateful messages" on the property at approximately 12:26 a.m. earlier that day. The suspects were last seen wearing dark clothing and fleeing the area on foot heading east on Oak Street.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims called the incident "disgusting and disturbing," saying it was was an example of "Islamophobic vandalism."
"This is gravely concerning," it said in a tweet.
Muslims are currently marking the month of Ramadan.
After consulting with the hate crimes unit, the investigation is now being treated as a suspected hate-motivated offence, police said.
In a tweet Friday, Toronto police Chief Myron Demkiw said police are committed to investigating "every potential hate crime" in the city and urged residents to report suspected hateful acts.
Police are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the incident or was driving in the area at the time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-1200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).