Illustration of the Canadian flag (AFP/Geoff Robins)
Nadia Hasan, chief operating officer of the Canadian National Council of Muslims, said about 20 people were at the mosque at the time.
“A number of men who were there to pray catch [pria bersenjata] and they arrested him until the police came,” he said.
Hasan said there were still remnants of bear spray in the building, and as of Saturday afternoon it was still causing people to cough.
“People are obviously very shaken up and starting to recover,” he said.
“But I think for the most part, people are still processing what happened and trying to see how they can make sure that their community stays safe.”
Hasan said the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Center remained open on Saturday and police were there to ensure that other prayer times could proceed safely.
Hasan said the mosque offered grief counseling and other mental health support to help those affected by the attack, while police continued their investigation.
“They don’t know what motivates this person to do what he does, but they obviously have a lot of questions about, you know, why is this happening, why is this happening to them, why this community in particular?” Hassan said.
The imam of the Hindy mosque said that the Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Center would provide further comment when more information became available about the attack. He urged Peel police “to continue investigating all angles.”
Hasan echoed Hindy’s call, telling CBC News, “We are waiting to hear more about his motivations.”
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