Those involved in Surrey mosque incident are Muslim teenagers

SURREY RCMP said on Saturday that they have identified and interviewed all parties involved in the incident outside a Surrey mosque that was reported to police on April 27. All individuals, including the six victims/witnesses and two suspects, are cooperating with police.

“The investigation found that this was not a racially-motivated hate crime. All occupants of the suspect vehicle were teenagers who are part of the Muslim community,” police said.

“Work will continue in order to resolve this matter through existing mechanisms either involving the BC Prosecution Service or through extra-judicial measures, using a restorative justice approach which would allow all parties to come together and express the impacts that this incident had on them and the greater community,” police added.

On April 27, just before 11 p.m., Surrey RCMP received a report that water had been thrown from a moving vehicle at three pedestrians from the Muslim community who were walking in the area of 124 Street and 72A Avenue.

Within minutes of the initial report, a subsequent call was received that the same vehicle left the roadway and almost struck one of the pedestrians.

Police identified the person who they believed was driving the suspect vehicle.

Assistant Commissioner Brian Edwards, Officer-in-Charge, Surrey RCMP, said in a statement: “The RCMP recognizes that any incidents such as this one that are initially believed to be a hate crime are traumatizing to our community. However, once it was discovered that the nature of the incident was not hate motivated, it was important for us to update the public.

“I have spoken to Mr. [Muhammad Asad] Gondal, President of the British Columbia Muslim Association, and had a positive discussion about the outcome of this event as well as our shared objective of ensuring safety of all communities, including our Muslim residents.

“This event demonstrates the importance of reporting all such incidents to police so they can be fully investigated. The Surrey RCMP takes allegations of hate/bias related crimes very seriously and encourages reporting of such matters. That is precisely what we are here to do – assess and investigate.”