Menu JTA Search

Vandalism of Canadian Religious Sites Unites Jewish and Moslem Groups

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

A wave of anti-Semitic vandalism and the concurrent desecration of mosques has united the Jewish and Moslem communities to fight racist hate-mongering in Hamilton, Ontario, an industrial city about 40 miles west of Toronto.

Beth Jacob Synagogue, the leading Conservative synagogue in this city of about 5,000 Jews, was defaced July 21, as swastikas, SS symbols and slogans praising “White Power,” “Hitler Was Right,” “Jews Die-Six millun (sic),” were among the spray-painted graffiti on the front doors and steps of the synagogue and on its stained-glass windows.

Similar slogans, including the words “Kill Pakis” — referring to Pakistani immigrants–were at the same time smeared on the doors and walls of a mosque in Hamilton.

Ismail Beckier, president of the Board of the Hamilton Mosque, said the vandalism was the second incident at the mosque in 10 weeks. It was kept quiet the first time, but now the Moslem community is determined to deal with it publicly as an act of solidarity with the synagogue, and to ensure that those responsible do not misinterpret their silence, Beckier said.

The assault on Beth Jacob was also the second incident of its kind in less than a year.

“Let’s kill the Jews” was daubed on the front door of the Hamilton, Ontario, Hebrew Academy, a day school attached to the Adas Israel Synagogue.

A year ago, the Shaarei Shomayim synagogue in Toronto and a junior yeshiva nearby were defaced.

Meanwhile, in New York, two Jewish buildings in Brooklyn were defaced overnight Sunday.

NEXT STORY