Madison Fitzpatrick
A Hamilton man has been charged with arson after a fire was set at the downtown Ibrahim Jam-E Mosque, just before 11:30 p.m on Wednesday night.
Hamilton police say the fire was doused by community members before firefighters got to the scene. Witnesses say they saw a man setting the fire at the entrance before running away. They were able to lead police to the suspect.
“We have mixed feelings about the incident,” says Sayed Hashemi, the spokesperson for the mosque. “We are sad about what happened, but we are happy and thankful for the help from all the community.”
Police and spokespeople for the mosque say the damage has not yet been assessed, but it is minimal.
Hashemi says the physical damage is something they can fix, but the emotional damage and the concern from members of their community will need time to heal.
Keith Frederick, 34, of Hamilton has been charged with arson and appeared in court Thursday morning for a bail hearing. Frederick’s Facebook page includes several anti-Muslim messages.
Police say the motive behind the attack is unknown at this time, but some members of the mosque say they see it as a hate crime.
“We think that this individual might have done this because of the lack of knowledge,” says Hashemi. “If he knew anything about our religion he wouldn’t have done this.”
The president of Hamilton’s Mountain Mosque, Dr. Ali T. Ghouse, who is also the chair of the Muslim Council of Greater Hamilton, says he felt “disgusted” that he was still seeing incidents like this in this day and age.
Ghouse says many people who attend the Mountain Mosque wonder if it is going to close its doors, but says, “We will be vigilant, and we hope that this is an isolated incident.”
Ghouse is hosting a meeting tonight (Thursday) with the council where they will address the incident and decide on their next steps.
View my original publish here (

Back to Top