NCCM denounces latest anti-Muslim incidents in Toronto
« We must stand united, without fear »
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – November 17, 2014) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization, condemned the assault yesterday of a Muslim woman who was picking up her children from school and the vandalism of an apartment building in Toronto.
According to a media reports, the assault victim was attacked in public when the suspects tore off the victim’s hijab, called her a « terrorist » and told her to « go back to your country » while punching and kicking her. The woman was hospitalized for her injuries and later released.
In the case of the vandalism that was reported, « Muslims go home!!! We do not want you here! » was scrawled on the wall across from the front door of a Muslim woman living in an apartment in Toronto’s Flemingdon Park area. These latest attacks come on the heels of a mosque arson in Peterborough and the smashing of windows at a Hindu temple in Kitchener, Ontario. Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras are at times targeted by those who may have mistaken them for mosques.
« Such hateful and cowardly acts are abhorrent to all Canadians who stand united in condemning xenophobia and hatred, » says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. « While disturbing, we believe these attacks on members of the Toronto Muslim community do not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of our fellow Canadians or residents of Toronto.
« We call on the authorities to investigate these incidents as hate crimes and to work to swiftly apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law in order to send a strong message against those who would perpetrate such crimes.
« The NCCM also urges elected leaders and security officials at all levels to continue to publicly denounce these hateful acts as we heard yesterday from various leaders. We further call on public officials to measure their words when it comes to the discourse around refugee resettlement and to recall that many refugees are fleeing their homelands in order to escape the same type of horrific violence that the world witnessed in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad last week, » says Gardee.
« The NCCM offers a community safety kit with tips to community members including the recommendation that any suspicious incidents be immediately reported to the proper authorities, as well as to the NCCM, in order to establish a clear record of such incidents, » says Amira Elghawaby, NCCM’s Communications Director.
« We must stand united, without fear. »
Anyone with information related to the two incidents is requested to contact Toronto Police at 416-808-2222 or to call Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at www.222tips.com.
The NCCM presents workshops to educate communities about their rights and responsibilities when confronted with a possible hate crime. The organization also maintains a database of reported hate crimes and incidents which are regularly updated on its online tracking map, launched last June as part of a hate crimes and hate incidents awareness campaign.
The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit grassroots organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.