MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Worshippers at dawn prayer in a suburb of Toronto tackled and subdued a 24-year-old man who allegedly entered their mosque and attacked people with bear spray on Saturday, according to local police.
Peel Regional Police said the man walked into the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and allegedly “discharged bear spray towards people in the mosque while brandishing a hatchet” just before 7 a.m.
Speaking on behalf of the mosque, Nadia Hasan of the National Council of Canadian Muslims said a group of about 20 men were praying when the man sprayed them.
“Some men looked around, and decided they weren’t going to allow him to attack them. “They tackled him to the ground and apprehended him until the police showed up.”
Mohammad Moiz Omar of Mississauga has been arrested. The police say that they are investigating all possible motives for the attack and that charges are currently pending.
Police stated that the bear spray caused minor injuries to the congregation members.
” People are clearly shaken and are currently recovering. “For the most part, folks are still processing what’s happened and are trying to kind of see how they can ensure that their communities remain secure.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justice Trudeau condemned the attack, calling it “incredibly disturbing” in a tweet. This violence has no place here in Canada. I strongly condemn it and will be thinking of the victims.
“I also want to applaud the courage of those who were there this morning.”
Premier Doug Ford, meanwhile, said, “There is NO place in our province for such evil and hateful acts. We must ensure those responsible are brought to justice.”