NCCM condemns anti-Muslim vandalism in Ottawa

Calls on political leaders to speak out against hate

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – October 31, 2014) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim advocacy organization, today condemns a recent spate of anti-Muslim hate incidents.

The NCCM urges political and community leaders to forcefully condemn all hate-motivated actions, particularly following the attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-Rue-Richelieu.

The latest incident took place at the Assunah Muslims Association (AMA) mosque in the nation’s capital.

Worshippers attending dawn prayers this morning arrived at the large facility in Ottawa’s south end to find multiple windows broken. Police are investigating.

« This incident is the latest in a spate of anti-Muslim harassment and vandalism that we have been documenting since the tragic events of last week, » says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

« There has been a noticeable spike in reported hate crimes and incidents. However, as we have said before, this only tells part of the story as hate crimes are typically under-reported, » says Gardee.

Other incidents which have been reported include the vandalism of the Cold Lake mosque in Alberta, threats to the BC Muslim Association, as well as anti-Muslim harassment of municipal candidates in Toronto. The NCCM is currently monitoring additional cases that have been reported in recent days.

Even before the tragic murders of two Canadian soldiers at the hands of troubled individuals, the NCCM had documented a rise in anti-Muslim incidents due to geopolitical issues that cast a negative light on Canadian Muslim communities.

« We call on our federal, provincial, and municipal leaders to speak out forcefully and unambiguously against anti-Muslim sentiments and acts. It is the duty of our elected representatives, as well as the duty of all Canadians, to stand united against any attacks on minority communities.

« Certainly, these incidents do not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of Canadians and we fully expect the authorities to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law in order to send a strong message against potential hate crimes and intolerance, » says Gardee.

« In the meantime, we urge community leaders and individuals to remain vigilant and to immediately report suspicious behaviour to the proper authorities, as well as to the NCCM, in order to establish a clear record of such incidents. »

To help keep their communities safe, the NCCM urges Muslim communities across the country to review the NCCM’s community safety guide. The NCCM presents workshops to educate communities about their rights and responsibilities when confronted with a possible hate crime.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit grassroots advocacy organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111