The controversy over the fake mosque at the Canadian military base

Canadian Forces officials said the mosque was part of a training center.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, OTTAWA — While Mahmoud Mourra was hunting on the prairies of southern Alberta, he came across a familiar sight in an unfamiliar place.

He saw the dome of the mosque with the minaret and the crescent symbol. However, the mosque is not real, it is part of a training center at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Suffield, about 250 kilometers southeast of Calgary.

Canadian Forces officials say such training facilities should be as realistic as possible to simulate the kind of environment soldiers might see on tour. But for Mourra, who has lived in Canada since emigrating from Lebanon decades ago, seeing the building feels like a betrayal.

“It’s not a symbol for terrorists, it’s a symbol for Muslims and I think that’s the case. I think there’s a systematic problem because that’s the tip of the iceberg to see terrain like this,” Mourra said. Radio Canada, Sunday (12/12).

The CEO of the National Muslim Council of Canada, Mustafa Farooq, said the video of the mosque taken by Mourra which began circulating online had caused concern in the Muslim community, especially given the white supremacist element in the military forces. “It is very disturbing to think of such a mosque and its presence in any base of the armed forces,” Mustafa said.

A Department of National Defense spokesman said the UK facility was the only department to be immediately aware of it. “Therefore, given the size of the (Canadian Armed Forces), we had to do a broader pan-CAF audit,” Dan Le Bouthillier said in an emailed statement.

Chad Sutton

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