Police are investigating after a video showing a woman ripping up pages of a Quran and placing them on the windshield of cars outside of a Mississauga mosque was posted to Facebook last week. The video also shows the woman telling the attendees of the mosque that they worship Satan.
The woman in the 10-minute long video—which was filmed around 5 PM Thursday evening—identifies herself as Sandra Solomon and is one of Canada’s most prolific anti-Islam activists. This is but the latest stunt for Solomon who works with the well-known anti-Islamic and pro-Israel Facebook page Never Again Canada. The video has since deleted the video but several media outlets were able to attain the footage.
The video begins with her standing in front of Dar Al-Tawheed Islamic Centre where she says that she is going to educate Canada on the evils of Islam and rails against Imams. Solomon rips up the Quran which she describes as a “Satanic, evil book” before placing the torn places (alongside one of her own flyers) on the windshield of the worshippers.
Solomon proceeds to go into the mosque while people are praying and rifle through books that are set up in the lobby. Solomon then demanded to some of the worshippers that she be allowed to see the Imam but was turned down and was told to leave. While she was leaving the mosque, Solomon yelled at the worshippers that they “worship Satan.”
Peel Police said Solomon conducted similar actions at two other mosques on the same day and that they are investigating but no charges have been laid.
In response to her actions, the Muslim Council of Peel held a press conference on Monday featuring Navdeep Bains, the federal minister of innovation, science and economic development, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Rabia Kehdr, the executive director of the Muslim Council of Peel, and several leaders from the Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Sikh communities. In a press release, the group asked Peel Police for the action to be investigated as a “hate incident.”
Solomon is no stranger to these types of stunts and that has turned her into something of a YouTube celebrity in Canada’s anti-Islamic and far-right circles. One of her videos saw her dress up a male friend in a burqa in an attempt to go “undercover.” Solomon was one of the most outspoken activists against M-103, the motion put forward by the Liberal government to research Islamophobia.
“This woman promotes hatred and tries to profit off it,” said Kehdr at the press conference. “This was just a stunt to get attention. Our Muslim community is not going to be fazed by someone like this who is trying to promote her own personal agenda of hatred.
“In fact, we feel sorry for anyone who allows themselves to be so consumed by hatred to resort to such actions. The sad reality is that people like this individual are promoting hatred like this online and profiting off it.”
Several other speakers at the press conference spoke to how Solomon fundraises off her anti-Islam views and stunts. On her website there are several fundraising options for Solomon—the lowest amount one can donate is $18. Much like other far-right websites, such as the Rebel Media (an outlet she is regularly featured on), Solomon fundraises off multiple campaigns at the same time, including donating to her tour across Canada, her group Never Again Canada, and legal assistance.
“This is something that certainly that is concerning to us, to have a known Islamophobe come into our neighbourhood, trespass onto our property soiling the carpets on which we pray, disturbing the prayer services as they pray by yelling racial and bigoted epithets, desecrating a scripture in a house of worship,” said Ibrahim Hindy, the Imam of the Masjid Dar-al Taweed, at the press conference.
“I understand and respect that not everyone is going to agree with my religion and I pride myself on having difficult and honest conversations about that… Please do not mistake this assault on our mosque as an attempt for conversation or a critique of religion. This was a plain attempt to instigate strife and gain civic tension and profit off of all of it.”
Hindy added that this is not the first time people have trespassed at his mosque; in the past Hindy has received death threats and has had to contact police. Kehdr said that the Muslim Council of Peel has flagged Never Again Canada to Facebook but expect no action to be taken by the social media giant. She asked for the government of Canada look into “ways to regulate the platforms to prevent hate from spreading” and added that “there is simply no recourse for online hate.”
The Facebook page of Never Again Canada has over 200,000 followers and posts solely anti-Islamic material which typically focuses on Canada. In her follow-up video recapping the events, Solomon described on Thursday her actions as the “first day of [an] International campaign against Quran”—her campaign is to get the Quran declared “hate literature”—and asked her followers to share her videos.
“This is what I’m going to be doing every day, as much as I can,” Solomon says in a recap video posted to Facebook, a few minutes later she begs her audience to donate to help her with her stunts. So far the police investigation hasn’t deterred her far-right following.
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