Destruction of Qur’an at Courtice Secondary School being investigated as hate crime

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Published March 10, 2023 at 8:50 am

A student at Courtice Secondary School is being investigated by the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board for a hate crime after allegedly destroying a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an.

The board said in a statement that school administration became aware last Friday evening (March 3) of a “concerning incident” of Islamophobia that happened earlier in the day at the high school.

“Specifically, a student damaged a copy of the Quran. “

The school board said they wouldn’t comment on any disciplinary action taken but said they take “all allegations of discrimination seriously and is taking immediate steps to address this very serious incident.”

In a message to families, school board officials said the board “will not tolerate acts of hate” towards people or symbols of faith and are “resolute in our commitment” to equity, diversity, inclusivity and the “dignity and humanity” of every individual.

“We are committed to repairing the harm that has been caused to the Muslim community as a result of this incident. “

The school board said they have also reached out to several local community groups, including the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Islamic Centre of Oshawa, Al Rayan Islamic Centre, Muslim Moms of Clarington and Courtice Secondary’s own Muslim Student Association, to find ways to “repair the harm” the incident has caused.

Clarington Mayor did not mince words in his statement on the incident, saying religious and racial intolerance has “no place in Clarington.”

“I am saddened and deeply disappointed by an incident of intolerance which involved a copy of the Qur’an, the Islamic sacred book, being deliberately destroyed at a local school,” the Mayor said. “I want to reassure our Muslim community and all our residents that Clarington values equity, diversity, and inclusiveness in our community. It is a source of strength that we are a safe and welcoming place for all.”

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