Ottawa urged to help mosques, synagogues and religious schools prepare for attacks

By Bruce Campion-Smith
Toronto Star | February 6, 2019

OTTAWA — When a gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue, there were some in the congregation who knew how to react.

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Leila Nasr, communications co-ordinator at the National Council of Canadian Muslims, said her group has not made any recommendations for the coming budget. But she said the program is well used by Muslim communities, especially in the wake of the mosque shooting.

She said mosques and other institutions are often the target of incidents that don’t make the news but threaten the “sense of peace and security of many mosques and other Islamic organizations.

“When the 2017 shooting occurred, I think it really brought those fears to the forefront,” Nasr said in an interview.

“Given the increase in hate crimes reported by Statistics Canada and others, not just against Muslim communities but against the Jewish community, Sikh community and others, more funding certainly wouldn’t hurt,” she said.

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