Muslim group holds ‘Islamophobia boot camp’ in Ottawa
CBC News | October 26, 2014
People attending a boot camp course on how to respond to incidents of Islamaphobia Saturday did so with renewed focus on the issue after Wednesday’s shootings in Ottawa.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims’s boot camp was planned before Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had frequented a B.C. mosque while criticizing it for being “open and welcoming”, shot and killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
After the shooting an Alberta mosque was vandalized, a local Toronto election candidate was assaulted and there have been reports of Muslims being discriminated against in Ottawa.
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Organizer says perpetrators likely afraid, ignorant
The Council, along with other Canadian Muslim organizations, has condemned Cpl. Cirillo’s killing, saying they have no connection to Islam or its beliefs.
Council executive director Ihsaan Gardee said people lashing out are likely reacting out of fear and ignorance.
He said the best thing to do is tell them what they’re doing is hurtful and explain how Muslims don’t condone extremism.
“(Tell them) that you also are feeling the same sadness, grief and anger, that you express your condolences for the victims and their families and that you stand in solidarity with Canadians.”
Organizers said another goal of the event was to create a greater understanding to try to avoid discrimination in the first place.