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Cambridge mosque vandalism ruled not a hate crime

After charges were laid in connection with a vandalism incident at a Cambridge mosque, the Waterloo Regional Police Service has changed their outlook, now affirming the incident was not a hate crime.

Last week, Imam and missionary Fatir Ahmad came across the damage on Wednesday.

"I was personally appalled that this could happen over here, because a mosque represents peace and our whole motto from the Muslim community is love for all and hatred from none," he said.

“We are deeply disturbed by this senseless criminal act and the significant destruction towards the Baitul Kareem Mosque in Cambridge," Chief Bryan Larkin said in a news release. "Places of worship are sacred, and this criminal act cannot and will not be tolerated in Waterloo Region. Rest assured, we are actively investigating, and committing appropriate resources to this investigation. My thoughts are with our Muslim community as they cope with this destructive and hateful crime.”

The police are now of a different mind: "the evidence does not support the inference that the crime was motivated by racial or religious hatred," said a spokesman over email.

The cause of the change of perspective is not known, nor is the name of the accused.

Despite this, the mosque cleanup is now complete and is open again. Prayer services will resume on Tuesday for Eid .

"It feels great. Obviously, as a community we are very happy," said Imam Fatir Ahmad. "It's actually a good thing that it's not a hateful act."

"To have the police give it due attention and immediate attention gives us a lot of peace and comfort," said Asif Khan with Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at.

Damage, even if not vandalism, was in the thousands. "TV was stolen, the stove was completely damaged," he said. "Other than that they came upstairs, they took the hard drive, they also stole a projector as well." "So many people have even tried to donate, but we're going to give those donations to the local homeless shelter," Ahmad said.

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