NCCM condemns recent anti-Muslim incidents
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – September 15, 2014) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim advocacy organization, today condemns three recent anti-Muslim hate incidents, including an attempt to run down a Calgary Muslim imam with a motor vehicle and two vandalisms of a Fort Saskatchewan Islamic prayer space and a residential building.
According to recent reports, Calgary Muslim community leader Imam Syed Soharwardy was struck by a car twice on September 12, 2014 on his way to Friday prayers. The female driver yelled out that he was a terrorist. The day before a Muslim prayer space in a residential building in Fort Saskatchewan was vandalized in the early morning hours with a large red cross spray painted on the side of the building. The same place was again vandalized last night with eggs. The egg shells, which were left on the premises, were labeled with hateful messages.
« While we are relieved that no one was seriously injured the community is understandably shaken by these latest attacks. Such hateful and cowardly acts are abhorrent to all Canadians who stand united against all actions motivated by xenophobia and hatred, » says NCCM Human Rights Coordinator Amy Awad.
« While disturbing, we believe these attacks on members of the Alberta Muslim community do not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of Canadians.
« We call on 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. The NCCM further urges elected leaders and security officials at all levels to publicly condemn these hateful acts, » says Awad.
« We also urge community leaders 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. »
For more information on keeping 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, non-profit grassroots advocacy organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.
CONTACT: Amy Awad, Human Rights Coordinator, 613.254.9704; amy.awad(at)nccm.ca