In Canada, a mosque is vandalised. Watch how the community responds.

It's been a rough week for Canada.

Last Wednesday Canadian soldier Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot dead while standing guard at the National War Monument in Ottawa, while Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed two days previously when he was struck by a car while walking through a parking lot in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Both men died at the hands of converts to extreme Islamist beliefs who were subsequently shot dead by authorities. Ottawa gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was described as a petty criminal who had recently converted to Islam, while Martin Couture-Rouleau, the driver of the car that killed Patrice Vincent, was described by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an “Isil-inspired terrorist”.

Nonetheless, there has been no upswell of anti-Muslim sentiment in Canada, a nation known worldwide for its tolerance and inclusivity.

There was one incident of note. In Cold Lake, Alberta, a rural town of just over 15,000 people, residents awoke last week to find that their local mosque - the Mac Islamic Center of Cold Lake - had been vandalised during the night.

Persons unknown had daubed 'Go Home;' on the walls of the centre and smashed several front windows.

The vandalism was discovered by mosque board member Mahmoud Elkabri on Friday morning last as he opened up the facility for prayers.

“My kids saw it and they started crying and I said: ‘Why are you crying?’," Mr Elkabri told The Canadian Press

"They said: ‘We were born here and raised here and this is our home'."

However, what happened next was amazing.

By that afternoon, community volunteers had come together to remove the spray paint and fix the windows.

Onto the windows was taped a sign.

"You are home", it read.

[social=twitter]https://twitter.com/LGregoryGlobal/status/525735493468971008[/twitter]

As one local man told reporters from CBC News Canada, "it's important that this community show we know the difference between extremism and religion."

Those sentiments were echoed by astonaut Chris Hadfield, himself raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario.

In posts to its Facebook page, the Muslim Association of Canada paid tribute to its "friends and neighbours in the Cold Lake community".

"Today, we received an overwhelming and heartfelt response of support from friends across the community who assisted in a clean-up following an overnight incident at the local Mosque," the message continued.

"We are extremely gracious for that support. It is a reminder of the great country we live in and the values that we as Canadians hold dearly."

By Conor Hallahan

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