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Montreal university evacuates buildings after bomb threats against Muslims

Threats against Muslim students come a month after suspect with apparent right-wing views killed six worshipers at Quebec City mosque
Messages near mosque that was the location of a shooting spree in Quebec City, 1 February 2017 (AFP)

A letter containing bomb threats against Muslims led to the evacuation of students and staff from three buildings at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada on Wednesday.

“Now that President Trump is in office south of the border, things have changed,” the letter, which was sent to Canadian media outlets, read. It threatened to detonate homemade bombs aimed to injure Muslim students.

The document, attributed to a group that calls itself the Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada (C4), also complained that Muslim students wash their feet in the men’s bathrooms sinks.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, the Council of Conservative Citizens in the US is an organisation that promotes racial segregation and white supremacy against “illegal immigration”.

Montreal police said they were investigating the "threatening email". They swept the campus for explosives but found none.

A similar threatening letter was also sent to nearby McGill University, which was put on heightened alert, but it did not specify a time or place of a possible attack.

Quebec Universities Minister Helene David, speaking to reporters at the scene, called the threat against Muslim students "deplorable".

"We strongly denounce these attacks against a university which is a model of living together," she said.

"Quebec is an inclusive place," the minister added. "We want to live together. We will not tolerate this kind of situation."

The threats come one month after a suspect with apparent right-wing views fatally shot six worshippers at a mosque in Quebec City. The massacre followed US President Donald Trump’s immigration order that restricted immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Canada has witnessed an increase in hate attacks in what Trump’s critics have described as a “spill-over effect” from the US elections.

In the United States, Jewish community centres have received dozens of bomb threats over the past month. Muslim houses of worship have also been threatened, burned down and vandalised.

Trump condemned bigotry in his first address to Congress on Tuesday, but he did not make a specific mention of assaults against Muslims.

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