The Vietnamese community in Montreal Canada are lamenting the repeated attacks by unknown individuals on Buddhist temples in the city and statues at the local Chinatown neighborhood.
According to Louis Le, a volunteer at the Quan Am temple, a statue at the site was destroyed in the first attack about three weeks ago before the place got attacked again recently.
“The Asian community in Montreal is currently being targeted with hate crimes as we speak,” Le wrote in an impassioned post on Facebook. “3 weeks ago, the Quan Am temple got vandalized by a hooded individual that smashed the lions head at the gate with a sledgehammer. It got attacked again as of recently.”
He also revealed that there have been attacks in other sites, including the lion statue at the Chinatown’s gate, the Thien Ton temple and the Huyen Khong temple.
“As a volunteer at the Quan Am’s temple, I’ve sacrificed countless paid hours to erect the second temple and seeing my work being destroyed by a faceless coward enrages me to no end. As we speak, a case is going to the higher ups in Montreal,” he added.
In the security footage captured by a nearby establishment, a hooded figure is seen defacing statues with a sledgehammer.
In an interview with NextShark, Le shared that they thought the first incident was just some random attack but realized there could be more to it after the successive vandalism.
“We just thought of it as simple vandalism, but after the repetitive patterns of attacks all around Montreal. People started seeing it as a hate crime.”
Le said that his role as a volunteer involved helping in the construction of the second temple situated in the Côte-des-Neiges neighborhood.
“The temple helped me during a hard time of my life. I feel compelled to assist it,” he shared. “I sacrificed paid hours with my current job for the sake of it.”
Montreal police are currently investigating the several acts of vandalism as hate crimes. A police patrol unit has also been deployed in the area.
Le noted, however, that he feels this might not be enough to stop the perpetrators from attacking again.
In Le’s message to the still unidentified perpetrators, he urged them to “repent for your action, that you find answers to your hate and find inner peace.”
Featured image via Radio-Canada Info