Muslim Iqbal Hessan Claims To Hear Voices Telling Him To Kill A Priest!
Voices will be heard in the air. Men will beat their heads against walls, call for their death, and on another side death will be their torment. Blood will flow on all sides. Our Lady of La Salette 19 Sept. 1846 (Published by Mélanie 1879)
By Louie Rosella
MISSISSAUGA — Peel Regional Police officers continue to investigate a Cooksville man accused of committing crimes that targeted a Catholic church near his home after he told officers he had thoughts of killing or hurting a priest.
Staff Sgt. Dan Richardson said the criminal matter involving Iqbal Hessan, 22, is now before the courts and officers will not be making any further comment in relation to the investigation. But, he added the investigation is far from over.
“What is important to recognize is that the Peel Regional Police take community safety seriously and we recognize it as our highest priority. Without being specific, I can advise that there are a number of issues that require further follow up in relation to the investigation,” he said. “At this time there is no threat to community safety and the follow-up investigation will move forward on a timely basis. I can advise that the clergy at the church have been updated on the status of this investigation.”
While Father Camillo Lando, the pastor at St. Catherine of Siena church, wondered why police didn’t tell him that Hessan was out on bail or that he had thoughts of killing or hurting a priest, he told The News police came to see him Friday afternoon and informed him.
Lando held a meeting with his two priests Friday to “tell them to be careful” after hearing of the disturbing allegations that were revealed in Brampton court Thursday during the bail hearing for the 22-year-old former University of Toronto student.
Court heard that in his statements to police after his arrest this week, Hessan said he was thinking of killing or hurting a priest the night he's alleged to have broken into the church.
Hessan was released on bail Thursday afternoon by Justice of the Peace Gerry Manno after a lengthy bail hearing that lasted two days.
He has been charged with break, enter and commit indictable offence and five counts of mischief over $5,000 in connection with numerous incidents at St. Catherine of Siena Church over the last five weeks.
While questioning the accused man's father, who is one of Hessan's sureties, Crown prosecutor Ann Marie De Grace told the court Hessan said in his statement to Peel Regional Police after his arrest that he had plans to hurt a priest last month on the night he is accused of breaking into the church. Manno later said Hessan told police he was thinking of killing a priest.
Manno also questioned Hessan's father on allegations that his son was upset at the church and "upset with Christian religion."
Basir Hessan said his son was diagnosed with schizophrenia and that caused his anger and imbalance.
De Grace was opposed to Hessan's release, saying the criminal allegations against him are "troubling and very disturbing" and "shook up" a church and school community.
"We still have a segment of society that's under the threat of Mr. Hessan," she said.
Manno said the public has a great deal to be concerned about, including Hassan’s mental illness and the perception "of a young man with a Muslim upbringing attacking a Christian church.
Besides the simple property, many people would see this as an attack on their faith," he said.
However, Manno said the safety of the public can be met with a plan that includes a psychiatric assessment and other court-imposed conditions. Hessan cannot come within 1,000 metres of the church or school, cannot come within 50 metres of a priest or minister, must be home by 10 p.m. and cannot attend any other church or school in the region.
Peel police meanwhile are consulting with the region’s Crown Attorney’s Office to determine whether to charge Hessan with hate crimes in connection with the vandalizing of a holy statue and the walls of the Catholic church.
The Criminal Code allows for the laying of hate crime offences under certain criteria, including the damaging of religious property where the motivation for the offence is bias, prejudice or hate based on religion, race, colour or national or ethnic origin.
If found guilty, an accused could face up to 10 years in jail.
Hessan's lawyer, Adil Goraya, said he doesn't believe there was any religious intent behind the actions.
"This is not a hate crime," he said.
Peel criminal lawyer Gary Batasar said it's reprehensible when someone chooses to vent their anger and hate by attacking another person's beliefs.
"Religion is amongst the most sacrosanct and cherished of our beliefs and whether one is Christian, Muslim or Jewish: the line should never be crossed where differences in religious ideologies turns to acts of violence or intimidation," he said. "My Jewish, Christian and Muslim friends and their families all should be free to express their faith without compunction. The police, I'm sure will, in consultation with the very able Peel Crown Attorney's office, will decide if this crossed the line between acts of vandalism and mischief to property and over to a hate crime."
After an anti-Semitic message and drawing was spray painted on the church wall, an exterior wall of the school was spray painted with graffiti and a statue of Jesus was twice defaced and damaged in front of the church — all of which occurred last week — Peel Police were notified of further damage at the Saint Catherine of Siena Catholic Elementary School Monday morning caused by graffiti that had been spray painted on an exterior wall of the school.
Police said the latest graffiti consisted of of non-threatening diagrams and words.
two weeks ago, graffiti was found on the front and back of the church and offensive statements were also spray-painted on the rear section of a school next door. The Sacred Heart of Jesus statue in front of the church was defaced with black spraypaint.
Back in April, a man broke into the church and stole an amplifier worth $2,000.
Lando, pastor of St. Catherine, last week released surveillance video of the break-in in which the suspect rips pages of the Bible, throws them and then steals the electronic:
MARIA OF THE CROSS,
Victim of Jesus nee MELANIE CALVAT,
Shepherdess of La Salette
"I protest highly against a different text, which people may dare publish after my death. I protest once more against the very false statements of all those who dare say and write First that I embroidered the Secret; second, against those who state that the Queen Mother did not say to transmit the Secret to all her people." Melanie