Dozens of people gathered outside a mosque in Toronto, Canada with loudspeakers and banners in hand, shouting anti-Islamic slogans as Muslims gathered to pray inside the mosque.
The protest was staged on Friday outside Masjid Toronto on Dundas Street West near University Avenue.
Mohamed Abdi, a member of the mosque, said that it was the first time he witnessed such strong sentiments against his religion.
“I was under the assumption that lately there's been a lot of sentiment and positivity towards the Muslim communities, especially with recent events,” Abdi said. “It's very upsetting that this did happen.”
Bryant Greenbaum, who was also present at the protest scene, told CBC Toronto that “You don't do it in front of a place of worship on the holiest day of the week for Muslim people, and in an intimidating manner.”
Mayor John Tory tweeted on Friday, condemning the protest. “Islamophobia has NO place in our city. I've visited Masjid Toronto many times & denounce all acts of hatred towards our Muslim citizens,” he said.
City councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam also denounced the Islamophobic protest in a tweet. “Awful protest at Masjid Toronto today; has moved to mosque at Church/Adelaide. No place for Islamaphobia in TO #cdnPoli #TOPoli #solidarity.”
Islamophobia has been on the rise in Western countries after Donald Trump was elected as the president of the United States. Trump has on numerous occasions made anti-Islamic remarks.