Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says a line has been crossed with the torching of a mosque president's car and that citizens need to come together and clearly take a stand against hate.
Police confirmed Wednesday a car belonging to Mohamed Labidi, president of the Quebec City mosque where six men were shot dead in January, was set on fire earlier this month.
The incident occurred days after Quebec City's mayor announced an agreement with the mosque on the creation of a new Muslim cemetery in the city.
"The more that people who commit these acts feel condemned by society, the more – I hope – it'll be harder for them to repeat them," Couillard told reporters on Thursday.
Couillard said political leaders and influential people in the media have the responsibility to choose their words carefully.
Public figures need to "send the right information and to participate in the outburst among the population of anger towards these types of acts," he said.
The mosque also said excrement was thrown at its doors several days after the car was destroyed.
It has reported hateful incidents before, including in July when it received a package containing a defaced Qur'an and a hateful note.
In June 2016, a pig's head was left at the entrance of the same mosque during Ramadan.
Couillard said the car burning "crossed a line" and "clearly represented hate and also violence."