The Amazing Way Cold Lake Residents Responded To Their Local Mosque's Vandalism

This Town Won't Put Up With Vandalism On Its Local Mosque

Mahmoud Elkabri arrived at Cold Lake Mosque for morning prayers on Friday and found an unsettling message. Scrawled in red spray paint across the exterior of the mosque were the words "Go home" and "Canada."

Elkabri is a board member of the mosque, which is a chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada. He told The Canadian Press that he was sure the vandal couldn't be from Cold Lake, a community he has lived in since 1996.

"My kids saw it and they started crying," Elkabri told reporters. "I said: ‘Why are you crying?’ They said: ‘We were born here and raised here and this is our home."

Global News reporter Fletcher Kent posted a photo of the vandalism on Twitter:

Cold Lake's mosque has been vandalized.

— Fletcher Kent (@FletcherKent) October 24, 2014

The mosque did not remain in that state for long, however. Within hours, dozens of community members made their way to the mosque to show their support by repairing the windows, scrubbing the graffiti off and posting new messages to the building's exterior.

Cold Lake Mosque posted a message of gratitude to its Facebook page with photos of the new and improved look:

The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC) would like to thank its friends and neighbors in the Cold Lake community. Today, we received an overwhelming and heart-felt response of support from friends across the community who assisted in a clean-up following an overnight incident at the local Mosque. We are extremely gracious for that support. It is a reminder of the great country we live in and the values that we as Canadians hold dearly.

Others tweeted photos of the mosque's transformation and the community's amazing response:

Canadian mosque vandalized w "Canada, go home" doesn't sit well w/awesome Canadians. They change it to "is home".

— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) October 25, 2014

Canadian mosque vandalized w "Canada, go home" doesn't sit well w/awesome Canadians. They change it to "is home".

— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) October 25, 2014

Canadians scrub off hate 'Go Home' on mosque and replace with posters 'You are Home' :)

— Atieh S (@AtiehS) October 27, 2014

A Canadian Mosque was spray-painted after the #OttawaShooting. This is what happened next. This is Canada.

— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) October 26, 2014

The mosque also posted a photo on Facebook showing a gift they had received from a Catholic group in the area with the message:

"From your Catholic brothers and sisters in Edmonton. We believe in the same God and have the same hopes. We are glad you are here. Many blessings to you."