“The vandalization of the Cold Lake Mosque is a bigoted act that I absolutely condemn. This attempt to create apprehension and fear will fail as Cold Lake is an open and welcoming community in a province and a country that welcomes inclusiveness and diversity. To the perpetrators of this act I say Muslims are home; in Cold Lake and across Alberta.
Alberta’s Muslim community has a long and proud history, stretching back over a century, with generations of Muslims born and raised in Alberta. Canada’s first Mosque was built in Edmonton in 1938 and its second was built in Lac La Biche in 1958. Former Lesser Slave Lake MLA Larry Shaben was one of the first Muslims elected to higher office in North America and was also appointed as Canada’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister in 1979.
We must not allow incidents of this nature to undermine the spirit of mutual cooperation and respect that has long defined us. Nor should we forget the tremendous contributions of Alberta’s Muslim community to the growth and prosperity of our province and our country.”