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Two arrested for assault, uttering threats at Islamic Centre protest in North Vancouver

Members of the centre have been receiving ongoing threats on social media, police say
North Vancouver RCMP say that people have the right to peacefully protest, but must not compromise the safety and security of others. | Paul McGrath / North Shore News files

Two individuals were arrested during a protest at the Al Ghadir Islamic Centre earlier this month, where several worshippers were spat on, threatened and assaulted, according to police.

On Nov. 18, around 50 protesters went to the North Vancouver centre and disrupted a planned service, North Vancouver RCMP said in a statement. Members of the Islamic Centre have also been receiving ongoing threats on social media, police said.

One of the offenders was arrested for uttering threats and for assault. The other was arrested for uttering threats.

Const. Mansoor Sahak said he expects police could make a third arrest soon. “We’ve received several reports and we’re investigating each one of them,” he said.

The B.C. RCMP’s Division Liaison Team is “working with both groups to make sure the protests are lawful and peaceful," Sahak continued. "Any unlawful acts will not be tolerated and met with arrests."

In a statement issued Tuesday, he said that while the right to engage in peaceful, lawful protest is a fundamental element of democracy, any protest must abide by Canadian law and must not compromise the safety and security of citizens.

Police said they are warning protesters that any reports of assault, property damage and intimidation will be fully investigated. Police are also appealing for calm in the community.

North Vancouver RCMP said it’s working closely with community leaders, partner agencies and the liaison team to promote lawful and peaceful protests.

Anyone with information on these investigations is asked to call police at 604-985-1311.

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