War in Gaza blamed after young man sets himself on fire at Winnipeg mosque

The statement said that the Israel-Hamas war 'is impacting so many people beyond the boundaries of our community.'

War in Gaza blamed after young man sets himself on fire at Winnipeg mosque
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A young man lit himself on fire inside of the Waverley Grand Mosque in Winnipeg on Saturday afternoon, taking his own life on the eve of Eid al-Adha, celebrated by Muslims across the world. The local Islamic association mentioned the war in Gaza and pointed to racism as a possible contributing factor.

The incident promoted the Manitoba Islamic Association Board to call for increased mental health support in the province.

“Though we cannot speak to the details of what occurred for this youth, what we can say is that our community remains increasingly concerned about several factors that may have impacted his well-being,” read the statement.

“We encourage politicians to speak up against barriers to mental health care and ensure it is broadly accessible to all members of our Muslim and Canadian community.”

The group referenced the Israel-Hamas war, saying it “is impacting so many people beyond the boundaries of our community.” In response, the association has been working to increase mental health supports within the Islamic community, it said.

“We cannot have positive mental health in the context of a racist, Islamophobic and genocidal world. And we cannot alleviate mental health concerns in a world that does not prioritize mental health as health,” it said.

The Winnipeg Police Service, along with members of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, responded to a distress call involving a person with self-inflicted injuries at the Waverley Street mosque, as confirmed by authorities, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.

A police spokesperson indicated that no further details are expected to be released at this time.

The Islamic association has closed sections of the mosque to the public.

The incident took place hours before the start of Eid.

“We cannot have positive mental health in the context of a racist, Islamophobic and genocidal world. And we cannot alleviate mental health concerns in a world that does not prioritize mental health as health,” it said.

“To the family who lost this young man, we are with you. To others who struggle during this difficult time in our immediate and broader community, we are with you."

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