A Toronto man has been arrested in connection with multiple hate-motivated assaults throughout the city, according to police — including a Saturday morning attack on worshippers outside a mosque.
At about 6:40 a.m. ET, police responded to reports of an assault with a weapon outside the Toronto Islamic Centre near Yonge Street and Davenport Road. Officials said in a news release that a man allegedly confronted several people, threw a rock at them and yelled slurs, then attacked them with a bike chain. One person is believed to have sustained minor injuries.
This follows two other incidents police said took place earlier this week.
Police said a cab driver approached a man near Front Street and Yonge Street to ask whether they needed a ride early Wednesday morning. The man asked the driver if he was Muslim and sprayed him in the face with an unknown substance, police say.
Later that same morning, police say a woman wearing a hijab near Fort York Boulevard and Spadina Avenue was approached by a man who made derogatory statements toward her, then sprayed her in the face with an unknown substance. The woman was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries.
Police have laid charges against a 28-year-old man in connection with the incidents, including four counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault and two counts carrying a concealed weapon. The man is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
‘Enough is enough,’ says national Muslim organization
In a statement released Saturday, the Toronto Islamic Centre called for an end to intimidation and harassment.
“While our first priority is to ensure the ongoing safety of worshippers, we need to see long-term change to fight all forms of hate, including Islamophobia,” the statement read.
Those who were at the mosque at the time of the attack are shaken up but everyone is all right, National Council of Muslim Canadians director of communications Uthman Quick told reporters Saturday night.
“What we see in our city right now is absolutely unacceptable,” Quick said. “Whether it’s antisemitism, whether it’s anti-Palestinian racism, whether it’s Islamophobia — enough is enough.”
In a post about the attack on X, formerly Twitter, Mayor Olivia Chow said Islamophobia and violence are unacceptable.