Paris attacks backlash ‘nothing new,’ Canadian Muslims say, but public also supportive

Muslims are speaking out about Islamophobia, but also find encouraging signs of support

By Shanifa Nasser | CBC News
November 24, 2015

Idil Abdulkadir is used to explaining complicated equations in the classroom. But in an open letter to Muslim students following the Paris attacks, the Ottawa high school teacher felt compelled to share a different and personal lesson.

« After tragedies like the one in Paris, the world erupts in fear, » wrote Abdulkadir in the letter published online Thursday. « The strangers who think we are monsters cannot be convinced otherwise. If it wasn’t us, they would hate someone else. »

. . .

Earlier this year, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), an Ottawa-based Muslim civil rights organization, began tracking hate-related incidents reported in the media and to the police.

The council said it saw an « immediate spike » in the number of anti-Muslim incidents following attacks on Parliament Hill and in Quebec in October 2014.

In the days that followed those incidents, a mosque in Cold Lake, Alta., was defaced with the words « Go home. »

According to the latest Statistics Canada data, hate crimes against Muslims increased from 45 in 2012 to 65 in 2013.

But the National Council of Canadian Muslims said the official numbers only reflect cases where charges are laid, and the numbers might not tell the whole story….

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