The words “Islam will Rule” were scrawled underneath a red-and-black stenciled swastika that was found on the wall of the school of Beth Tikvah Synagogue, a Conservative congregation in Toronto, Friday morning.
The Star (H/T al-Kidya)Rabbi Jarrod Grover doesn’t know if the person who defaced his North York synagogue was a neo-Nazi, a radical Islamist — or both. (NeoNazis don’t use Islamic graffiti)
But after discovering a swastika spray-painted next to the message “Islam will rule” on the building’s exterior brick wall late Thursday afternoon, Grover has an even more pressing question.
“The scary part is that we have to ask ourselves, ‘What are these people capable of?’ Is this just spray paint or do we have bigger concerns?” said Grover. “People are nervous. People are afraid.”
The Beth Tikvah synagogue on Bayview Ave. south of Finch Ave. E. rents space to the Robbins Hebrew Academy, a Jewish school from nursery to Grade 8.
The Toronto police hate crime unit is investigating two other “very similar” cases of anti-Semitic graffiti that were found in the same area this week, said Const. Tony Vella. There are no suspects yet, but Toronto police are reviewing security footage from the synagogue parking lot.
At Queen’s Park, Premier Dalton McGuinty said he was “saddened” by the vandalism at the synagogue. “No place in Ontario for intolerance and hatred. In this we stand together,” he said on Twitter. “If you’re the police, start guessing: is it a Nazi group or is it a Muslim group?” Peleg said. (You can bet it’s a Muslim/ IslamoNazi group)
But Grover is taking the threat seriously. He said the synagogue already spends “many thousands” on security guards and video cameras every year. Now he said they’ll have to invest even more to quell concerns for the safety of students and members of the congregation.
Synagogue president Maurice Kulik is concerned the incident will cause tension between the diverse communities in North York. “It’s a shocking thing. We’ve shared an existence along Bayview Avenue for 44 years with people of many faiths and backgrounds, working together to help the community in many ways, and now this thing comes along and rips it apart,” Kulik said.