VICTORIA – Police are investigating comments made on Facebook saying someone should blow up Victoria’s new mosque.
They were made by a man whose online presence indicates he is former military and says he now works in security for the Canadian Coast Guard.
The mosque has been a labour of love for Victoria’s Muslim community and leaders of that community call the man’s comments “scary” given recent attacks on mosques.
Construction on the mosque began in February and should be complete by November. But the Facebook poster appears to have a problem with that.
On the Facebook page “I Love Downtown Victoria,” the poster, identifying himself as Dan Speed writes, “That’s not good.” He then posts “Blast it with an 84 mm Carl Gustaf.”
The weapon Speed suggests someone should use is a high powered anti-tank gun capable of serious damage.
But the Facebook poster doesn’t stop there, expressing more concerns about the mosque he writes, “Noise pollution for that neighbourhood for one. Five times a day, I believe,” apparently referring to the Muslim prayer schedule. His final comment is “A call to Alah (sic).”
A closer look at Dan Speed’s online profile shows he identifies himself as former military and currently working in security for the Canadian Coast Guard.
There have been several attacks on Muslims in recent weeks and the President of the B.C. Association of Muslims Victoria Branch calls the postings scary. “Based on the situations in the past, it is a little bit scary to see someone that had military training say something like that,” says Azhar Omarjee.
Victoria police also find the comments disturbing and the department has launched an investigation looking into Speed’s background and the postings.
The Canadian Coast Guard says no one named Dan Speed works for the organization, but CTV News has learned, Speed does work at the Victoria Coast Guard base as a Commissionaire, a company many agencies contract with for security services.
Meantime, as the Victoria Muslim community celebrates Ramadan, it is inviting the Facebook poster to learn more about the religion – and the people who follow it.
“I’m sure if he got to know us I don’t think there should be any problems,” says Omarjee “But, it is a little bit scary if someone says something like that.
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