The Toronto Police Service said Wednesday that three hate-motivated mischief incidents in the past eight months cost the city more than $140,000 in vandalism and repairs. Those incidents involved more than 50 anti-black and anti-Muslim slurs spray-painted on outside walls of property that includes mosques and temples.
The most costly of the incidents, including work to repair its whitewashed facade, took place on June 19 of this year.
Reached at home Wednesday night, Daany Amin Faruqi, 25, told the Times: “I’m a gold-plated black homosexual.” Asked about the graffiti he said: “They have no proof. You don’t know what I was doing. You don’t know the truth of what I’m telling you.” Asked about the presence of Sikhs in the city, he said: “They are nothing.”
The vandalism of property that includes churches and synagogues sparked a national debate in the Canadian government earlier this year. On July 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter: “I am dismayed by the recent spate of religiously motivated incidents in Ontario.”
I am dismayed by the recent spate of religiously motivated incidents in Ontario. Since we began partnering with police in our historic Building Relations initiative, my office has heard stories of indifference and even outright hostility on the part of some religious groups toward Muslims, Sikhs and Jews. We must change the way we treat each other. — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 16, 2018
Both the Ontario Provincial Police and the Toronto Police Service investigated the incidents to determine whether it was a hate crime. “The individuals responsible for the recent incidents have targeted mosques, temples and churches,” Detective Sergeant Ed Kinney said in a statement Wednesday. “While the motive for these assaults and mischiefs is unclear, it appears that there is a connection between the victims and that of the offenders.”
Faruqi said he had a warning for the government: “If that falls on deaf ears, after the 2020 election, they will be burned,” he said. “Just watch.”
Photo credit: Mohamed Hassan/Toronto Star/Getty Images