Vandalism of Muslim prayer space at Pearson airport under investigation as possible hate crime

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Passengers getting off international flights at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Feb.1, 2021.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Passengers getting off international flights at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Feb.1, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Vandalism of a prayer area at Toronto Pearson International Airport is being investigated as a possible hate crime, Peel police say.

Several people told Peel Regional Police on the evening of March 26 that a publicly accessible Muslim prayer space was in a "vandalized state," Const. Heather Cannon said in a statement.

"Peel Regional Police are investigating this incident as a possible hate crime and are working alongside the Greater Toronto Airport Authority as this investigation unfolds," she said.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority confirmed that the vandalized prayer area was at the Aviation Interfaith Ministry in Terminal 3.

"Everyone at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority strongly condemns any acts that attempt to erode freedom of belief and expression," the GTAA said in a statement sent to CBC News.

"To everyone travelling for essential purposes and arriving at Toronto Pearson today, but especially to our Muslim brothers and sisters, we ask that you do not let the acts of a few overshadow the values that Canadians hold dear."

Peel Regional Police say that anyone who may have information related to the incident should contact investigators with the Airport Criminal Investigative Bureau at 905-453-3311 x3133 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS (8477).