Tragically, attacks on places of worship have started to become quite common around the world, and often, people who go to these religious institutions no longer feel safe there. In light of these recent attacks, Toronto mosques, synagogues and other places of worship have started to look for ways to make their community feel safe again. As more than 250,000 Muslims around the city prepare for Ramadan, mosques in Toronto are adding extra security to ensure safety to those who attend during the holy month.
Last month, Narcity reported on how many Canadian Muslims were too afraid to attend mosque after the New Zeland attack, a shooting which claimed the lives of 49 individuals and left an impact throughout the world. After the shooting, Canadian police increased their presence around mosques and Muslims warned each other to be cautious when attending their local services.
With these shootings leaving an ever-lasting impact on the Canadian Muslim community, they are starting to take extra steps to ensure the safety of their communities, especially during the busy holy month of Ramadan that is expected to attract more than 250,000 locals around the city.
According to CBC News, the International Muslims Organization (IMO) has applied for grants through the federal government and several mosques around Toronto have received finances to help better their security.
Some of the changes that have been made to these mosques in an attempt to protect themselves from hate crimes are high-resolution security cameras. This in hopes to deter away those who may be thinking of committing hate crimes on these mosques.
More importantly, mosque entrances are being renovated in preparation for a 'lockdown process'. Toronto Police held a meeting in Rexdale last week with multiple representatives from various faiths to discuss the different forms of hate crimes that these places of worship are facing.
During this meeting, lockdown training was included by veteran police officers to help communities prepare in case a situation arises where a place of worship needs to go into lockdown.
Other meetings and training programs have been present around the area, and a similar meeting was held in Mississauga last month in an attempts to better advance the security of places of worship around the GTA.