NCCM and AMPAC call for noose incident to be treated as a hate crime
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – December 7, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties and advocacy organization, joins the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC) in calling on authorities to treat recent threats made against Muslim women in Edmonton as a hate crime.
On November 8, 2016, a man allegedly showed a noose to two Muslim women who were standing at the platform of an Edmonton LRT station. The alleged suspect was taken into custody earlier this week, according to media reports.
“That someone would deliberately carry a noose around to threaten fellow citizens is horrifying,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “This was clearly a deliberate attempt to threaten the Muslim women and it should be treated as a hate crime.”
The Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council is also calling on law enforcement to fully prosecute the alleged perpetrator in order to make it clear that such acts are unacceptable.
“This was an example of hatred pure and simple,” says AMPAC President Faisal Suri Khan. “We need to ensure that Islamophobia is discouraged in all its forms and the first step in doing that is to treat such actions as hate crimes.”
Khan added that for anyone experiencing Islamophobia in Alberta to contact the AMPAC Islamophobia Help Hotline at 1-800-607-3312 and leave a message. AMPAC will respond within 24 hours and will be able to direct callers to support agencies, lawyers or the police. NCCM also provides a national incident reporting system through an online form, as well as by telephone at 1-866-524-0004 for alleged anti-Muslim hate crimes, incidents, and/ or discrimination.
To counter the racist act, an Edmonton woman is distributing carnations to women Muslim women in hijab in the local transit stations, along with volunteers.
« I was disheartened to see that some of the hatred that has been stewing in the United States has made its way over to Canada, » Janelle Venne said in an interview with CBC News. « I wanted it to be loud and clear to the entire diverse community of Edmonton that racists don’t speak for everyone, » Venne said.
The NCCM urges Canadian Muslim communities across the country to review its Community Safety Guide and to immediately report any suspicious activities to law enforcement and to the NCCM so that a record of these incidents can be maintained.
The NCCM’s Human Rights Department keeps statistics on reported anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents through its online hate crimes and incidents map.
Elected officials, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to endorse NCCM’s Charter for Inclusive Communities launched earlier this year to affirm that Islamophobia and other forms of racism, hate, xenophobia and bigotry have no place in Canadian society. Several municipalities have endorsed the Charter including Hamilton, London, Ajax, and Waterloo region.