Muslim leaders urge government to help protect mosques, schools

By Sammy Hudes
Toronto Star | June 22, 2017

Some Muslim community leaders are urging the federal government to do more to help protect their mosques and schools amid an increase in hate crimes.

A Statistics Canada report last week showed hate crimes targeting Muslims rose by 60 per cent across the country in 2015.

“It’s quite concerning the number of reports that have been coming in,” said Amira Elghawaby, a spokesperson for the National Council of Canadian Muslims. “At our organization, we have definitely seen a spike just in the last week of people reporting to us.”

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The National Council of Canadian Muslims continues to monitor threats to the community, according to Elghawaby. The organization tracks these incidents, but encourages people to report them directly to police.

There have been 40 anti-Muslim incidents reported across Canada already in 2017, compared to 64 all of last year, according to the organization.

Elghawaby said the community is particularly concerned following events around the globe during the month of Ramadan, including an attack on a London mosque Monday.

At least one Toronto mosque has added metal detectors for tarawih prayers which occur in the late evening during Ramadan, she said.

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