Edmonton police hate crimes unit investigating racist graffiti spray painted on Al Rashid Mosque

Edmonton police are investigating racist spray paint graffiti found on the Al Rashid Mosque as a hate crime.

The hate crimes and violent extremism unit is leading the investigation after being informed of the vandalism at the north-side mosque on Monday afternoon through images spread on social media, police spokeswoman Cheryl Voordenhout said in an email to Postmedia.

Al Rashid Mosque communications director Noor Al-Henedy said the vandalism actually took place early Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m., but the police reached out after seeing photos of the graffiti online.

“They wanted to make sure we did report it and this seems to be more of a political statement and act of racism than just vandalism so they want to throughly investigate it and take care of it,” Al-Henedy said.

Pillars on the mosque’s front steps were vandalized in purple spray paint with a star, the acronym “BHO” and the number “114.”