NCCM commends swift police response to London assault

Alleged assailant of London Muslim woman has been arrested and charged

-For Immediate Release-

Ottawa – June 22, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, commends the swift action taken by the London Police Service (LPS) to investigate, arrest, and charge a woman with assault after she allegedly attacked a London Muslim woman on June 20, 2016.

The woman and her baby were shopping at a neighbourhood store when the assailant reportedly came up to her yelling, and then spit on her, punched her several times, and grabbed her hijab in an attempt to remove it.

Pictures of the woman were taken during the assault and sent to police. The photos were released by the LPS, along with a public appeal for information about the alleged assailant.

Police announced today that an arrest had been made.

“The quick action of the local police service shows that this assault was taken extremely seriously,” says Saleha Khan, NCCM London spokesperson and a human rights educator. “It is critical that any act of violence or hatred be immediately reported to authorities so that all steps can be taken to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to justice. Too often, these hateful acts go unreported and unpunished.”

“It is imperative that Canadians unite together against Islamophobia and hatred of all kinds,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “The acts of a few misguided individuals cannot and should not tar entire communities. London is a safe, vibrant city, made stronger for its diversity.”

Four alleged hate crimes and incidents targeting Canadian Muslims have been reported to NCCM in the past 10 days, representing a jump in the number. Overall, hate crimes and incidents against Canadian Muslims reported to NCCM are just over double what they were this time last year.

Up to two-thirds of all hate crimes go unreported, according to Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey – Victimization. The federal Justice Department has also highlighted the underreporting of hate crimes.

“We urge communities to remain vigilant and to immediately report suspicious behaviour to the authorities, as well as to the NCCM, in order to establish a clear record of such incidents,” says Gardee. “We also need to find real solutions to create safe and inclusive communities for all.”

Related Resources:
Hate crimes against Muslim-Canadians more than doubled in 3 years (Global News)
NCCM Online Hate Crimes Map
NCCM Community Safety Guide