Muslim group unsurprised by sharp rise in hate crimes
By Laurie Fagan
CBC News | November 30, 2018
The head of a national Muslim group based in Ottawa says he’s not surprised to learn the number of hate crimes reported to police in Ontario and Quebec jumped dramatically last year.
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Quebec reported a 50 per cent jump over the same period, with hate crimes rising from 327 in 2016 to 489 in 2017. That increase in attributed largely to crimes against the province’s Muslim population, peaking in February 2017, the month following the mass shooting that killed six people at a Quebec City mosque.
That trend was mirrored in Ontario, where hate crimes against Muslims saw a 207 per cent increase.
“We were obviously surprised by the data, and not really surprised,” said Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), which launched an online hate crime reporting tool in 2013.
Gardee said his group decided to create its own tracking system because until this year, Statistics Canada only released its hate crime data every two years.
NCCM has also visited 90 schools across Ontario, including in Ottawa, to talk to teachers about how to stem Islamophobia.