Youth who wrote hateful message in snow outside Islamic centre not charged

A youth has turned himself into RCMP after a surveillance camera outside the Red Deer Islamic Centre caught him writing a hateful message in the snow.

The youth, his family and the staff at the Islamic centre will "resolve the incident through restorative justice means," RCMP said in a press release on Friday. 

"The youth has expressed sincere remorse for hurting others through thoughtless statements that were made on impulse, and has expressed a desire to reach out to members of the Islamic centre," said Corp. Karyn Kay in a statement. 

"They, in turn, welcome the opportunity to turn this into a learning conversation where mutual understanding can flourish."

No charges pending

No charges will be laid in the Feb. 19 incident. The youth seemed to know he was on camera, making an obscene gesture and initialing his message in the snow on the centre's steps.

At the time, RCMP said the act is considered a hate crime as mischief to religious property.

But members of the mosque told CBC News they wanted to sit down and talk to whoever did it over a cup of tea.

"We would like to invite him for tea and just understand why he left that message and why he has so much anger and resentment toward Muslims," said the centre's spokesperson Jawed Iqbal at the time.

The John Howard Society, whose mission is to provide various kinds of rehabilitative services to people who have come into contact with the criminal justice system, will also be working with the youth.

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