POLITICS

Trudeau Denounces 'Vicious And Senseless Acts Of Intolerance' In Wake Of Paris Attacks

11/18/2015 12:31 EST | Updated 11/18/2015 12:59 EST

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the acts of hatred and racism witnessed in Canada after the terrorist attacks in Paris last week.

In a statement released Wednesday from Manila, where he is attending the APEC summit, Trudeau said he has "noted with deep regret a number of highly disturbing acts aimed at certain Canadians."

Trudeau referenced the recent fire at a mosque in Peterborough, Ont., smashed windows at a Hindu temple in Kitchener, Ont., and an attack on a Muslim woman in Toronto.

"Diversity is Canada’s strength. These vicious and senseless acts of intolerance have no place in our country and run absolutely contrary to Canadian values of pluralism and acceptance," he said in the statement.

"We must fight hate by embracing our values of pluralism & acceptance."

The prime minister said the federal government and law enforcement agencies will work to protect Canadians subjected to such abuse.

"Canadians understand that religious groups around the world suffer persecution regularly at the hands of violent extremists," he said in the release. "Our focus must be on stopping the people responsible for the terror, and continuing to fight hate by embracing Canadian values."

Trudeau took to Twitter Tuesday with a similar message that was re-tweeted thousands of times.

On Monday, Trudeau also released a statement denouncing the arson at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association’s mosque in Peterborough, which police are treating as a hate crime.

"Muslim-Canadians contribute enormously to the social and economic fabric of our nation, and Canadian authorities will not abide innocent and peaceful citizens being targeted by acts of vandalism and intolerance," the prime minister said.

Trudeau added that while the terror attacks in France shocked "peace-loving people" around the world, the focus should be on those who committed those heinous acts.

"It is equally important for Canadians to understand that Muslims around the world are also being persecuted regularly by these violent extremists," he said. "We are in this together."

An online fundraising drive raised more than $100,000 to repair the place of worship.

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A Quran is taken off of a charred bookshelf inside the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association’s mosque in Peterborough. (Photo: Christopher Katsarov/CP)

Also on Monday, a Muslim woman on her way to pick up her children from school in North York was reportedly physically assaulted by two men and called a "terrorist."

The suspects allegedly punched the woman, tore off her hijab, and robbed her of her cellphone and money, according to Global News. Toronto police have designated the attack as a hate crime.

A day earlier, vandals smashed the windows at the Ram Dham Hindu temple in Kitchener. Waterloo Regional Police are not treating the incident as a hate crime but, according to CBC News, are not closing the door on that possibility.

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