TORONTO: In a series of hate-motivated incidents, Toronto police have arrested 28-year-old Chandler Marshall, charging him in connection with three attacks, including an assault on worshippers at the Toronto Islamic Centre.
The latest incident occurred early Saturday, resulting in a confrontation, derogatory slurs, a rock thrown at congregants, and an attack with a bike chain.
Chandler Marshall faces over a dozen charges related to these incidents, which also involve the assault of a taxi driver and a woman wearing a hijab with a foreign substance earlier in the week. The taxi driver was targeted after being questioned about his religion, while the woman in a hijab endured derogatory remarks and a substance spray.
Chandler Marshall has been arrested for perpetrating three separate violent Islamophobic incidents in Toronto, within the span of just four days
These include attacking a mosque in downtown Toronto, attacking a Muslim Taxi driver, and attacking a hijab wearing Muslim woman.
— NCCM (@nccm) November 19, 2023
Following the attack on congregants at the Toronto Islamic Centre, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released a statement detailing the assault, with the assailant reportedly describing himself as Israeli and expressing an intention to harm Muslims.
Incidents of Islamophobic Violence in Toronto
“This morning, at the dawn prayer, there was an attack at the Toronto Islamic Centre by an individual who described himself as Israeli, there to hurt Muslims,” stated the NCCM on Twitter, emphasizing the violence as Islamophobic.
PR: Attack at the Toronto Islamic Centre (November 18, 2023)
This morning, after the dawn prayer, an individual came to the Toronto Islamic Centre where he assaulted worshippers and attempted to vandalize the centre as well. The attacker hurled a large rock at a congregant, pic.twitter.com/Hwcx9ZPNcP
— Toronto Islamic Centre (@TICmasjid) November 18, 2023
In response to the incident, the Toronto Islamic Centre asserted its commitment to not be intimidated, prioritizing the ongoing safety of worshippers while emphasizing the need for long-term change to combat all forms of hate, particularly Islamophobia.
Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow condemned the incidents, stating, “Islamophobia and violence are unacceptable.” The Toronto Islamic Centre & Community Services echoed the sentiment, urging unity against all forms of hate.
Today, worshippers at the Toronto Islamic Centre were attacked just after dawn prayers. The police have made an arrest.
Islamophobia and violence are unacceptable.
In their statement, TIC calls on us to stand together against all forms of hate. Let’s heed their call. https://t.co/gBgDAQv8We
— Mayor Olivia Chow (@MayorOliviaChow) November 19, 2023
Chandler Marshall is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, facing charges related to the three hate-motivated incidents.