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The Organizer Of The Peterborough Mosque Fundraiser Says White Supremacists Are Targeting Him

Duane Rousselle tells BuzzFeed Canada he reached out to local police.

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When Duane Rousselle heard about the arson of the only mosque in Peterborough, he set up an online campaign to raise money for repairs. Now Rousselle, an academic and writer, tells BuzzFeed Canada he's received threats from white supremacists.

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"I did not expect to be targeted by hate groups or groups affiliated with 'White Nationalism,' but I was," he said. "I have contacted the police. One of them is a Peterborough resident and he made a threat. Last night it was very difficult to sleep."

Peterborough Police have not responded to a request for comment about whether they received information from Rousselle about the alleged threats, and whether they will investigate. Rousselle said he has not yet received a response from Peterborough Police.

He declined to offer additional details about the alleged threats, saying he is more focused on the effort to help the Muslim community.

"This fundraiser has become a full time job and I just do not have any more time right now to spend on it," he said. "Sincerely sorry. As you know, I am, in the end, much more concerned about the safety and sense of security of our Muslim brothers and sisters."

The fundraiser has been a runaway success, raising well over the target amount of $80,000 in just 24 hours. "I expected no more than a hundred or a couple hundred dollars," Rousselle told BuzzFeed Canada.

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"What is most touching, I think is that many of the donors are living in poverty," Roussell said by email. "They donated large sums of money nonetheless. It is heartwarming. Some of the very large donations were made anonymous — one for $2,000, a couple for $1,000. That is remarkable."

Along with the arson of the Peterborough mosque, police in Kitchener, Ontario are investigating after two windows were smashed at a local Hindu temple.

Craig Silverman is Media Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at craig.silverman@buzzfeed.com.

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