The Only Mosque In Peterborough Was Deliberately Set On Fire

    Locals quickly raised tens of thousands of dollars to help the mosque rebuild.

    The small Muslim community in Peterborough, Ontario is on edge after its only mosque was damaged in a fire that police say was set deliberately.

    THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

    "Offences such as this, committed in relation to a place of Worship are taken very seriously and the Police Service will make every attempt to determine who is responsible," said a statement from Peterborough Police provided to BuzzFeed Canada.

    Christopher Katsarov / THE CANADIAN PRESS

    The fire at the Masjid Al-Salaam Mosque began late Saturday night.

    "The building suffered heavy smoke damage inside, with little damage evident outside," reported the Peterborough Examiner. "Damage is estimated at $80,000, fire officials said."

    The president of the mosque, Kenzu Abdellah, told The Canadian Press that people were in the building celebrating the birth of a child just 30 minutes before someone set the fire.

    "The Muslim community has a very good relationship with the Peterborough community,'' he said.

    Many people are sharing her Facebook status and posting comments in support of the Muslim community.

    Facebook: kaho.Garweeyne

    "As a Canadian I am ashamed that this hatred has been bestowed upon you."

    This woman said she grew up down the street from the mosque and was always "greeted with smiles, waves and 'hellos'" by worshippers there.

    "Peace be with you 💙"

    Members of the Peterborough community have already started a campaign to raise money to repair the damage to the mosque. Just three hours after launching, it had raised close to $8,000 towards the $80,000 goal.

    "We encourage members of the community, of all or no faiths, to help the Muslim community restore their place of worship," the campaign page says.

    There is also a Facebook page where people can show support for the mosque.

    UPDATE: After 19 hours, the campaign has raised more than $55,000.

    Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

    Contact Craig Silverman at

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