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A video surveillance photo of a man who allegedly broke into the JRJ Saint John Mosque on Fairville Boulevard on April 18, 2024. Image: Submitted/JRJ Saint John

Muslim community worried after recent break-ins

By Brad Perry Apr 30, 2024 | 3:08 PM

A series of break-ins at mosques in Saint John has the city’s Muslim community concerned.

The JRJ Saint John Mosque on Fairville Boulevard was broken into and damaged on April 18.

President Buland Akhtar said the individual damaged the front door and a washroom in the building.

Akhtar said the suspect fled the scene empty-handed when a worshiper, Brother Sakib, arrived for sunrise prayer.

“This is a religious concern, so my main concern is what if that person had any arms in his hands or he did some harm to Brother Sakib,” Akhtar said in a phone interview.

This is not the first time a mosque in Saint John has been broken into recently, according to Akhtar.

He said the mosque Abu Huraira Mosque on Somerset Street has been the site of several break-ins.

Akhtar said a number of items were taken during the incidents, including a sound system and carpet.

“It seems that swift action is not being taken on these incidents, so it’s increasing day by day,” he said of break-ins around the city.

đź•Ś Urgent Notice: Incident at the Mosque đź•ŚAsalaamualiakum,This morning, we faced a troubling situation as an individual…

Posted by Jamia Riyadhul Jannah, Saint John, NB on Thursday, April 18, 2024

Members of the Muslim community are calling on authorities and community leaders to take strong action to address the issue.

A spokesperson for the Saint John Police Force declined to comment on the recent Fairville Boulevard break-in, citing the ongoing investigation by the Major Crime Unit.

“Once the investigation allows, the Saint John Police will provide an update,” the spokesperson said in an email.

They also did not answer questions about what police are doing to ensure the safety of worshipers and community members amid the rise of break-ins.