NCCM Condemns Hateful Intimidation at Edmonton Mosque

-For Immediate Release-

Urges Muslim communities to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to local authorities

(Ottawa – January 26, 2019) With the second anniversary of the Quebec City mosque massacre just a few days away, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is condemning a hateful incident of intimidation that occurred yesterday at the well-known Al Rashid Mosque in Edmonton Alberta.

According to reports a group of individuals connected to Soldiers of Oden and The Clann, known far-right Islamophobic hate groups, entered the Al Rashid Mosque, the oldest operating mosque in Canada, on Friday around prayer services and appeared to be scouting the building. The men left after being asked by mosque officials about their presence and then confronted community members outside.

“This deeply disturbing episode has left Edmonton Muslims feeling threatened and unsafe ahead of the January 29th anniversary of the devastating terror attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City. Let’s be clear: this was an exercise in hateful intimidation by known Islamophobic extremists of Canadian Muslims at their place of worship. We stand with the Al Rashid community in denouncing this incident,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

In recent years, Islamophobic hate groups have arisen in Alberta and some have created militia-like groups. Statistics Canada reported a 151% spike in police-reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2017 following the Quebec mosque attack and the RCMP says far-right extremists have become emboldened in Canada.

“Such deliberate acts of hateful intimidation pose a very real threat to our communities and social cohesion and they must not be allowed to continue. Two years after the Quebec mosque attack, Canadian Muslims and their institutions continue to face Islamophobic threats which have a serious impact on their sense of security,” says Gardee.

“This incident underscores the serious threat posed by right-wing extremists to religious freedom and to Canadians. We urge law enforcement and elected officials to counter these threats and work to protect communities from hateful groups. We also urge Canadian Muslims to remain vigilant and to report suspicious activity to the authorities.”

The NCCM reiterates its call from December for the federal government to fully recognize the growing threat from far-right groups in Canada.

Muslim community institutions and leaders are encouraged to review the NCCM’s Community Safety Kit which offers practical tips and steps on protecting their institutions and communities.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit advocacy organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.