NCCM condemns latest anti-Muslim, anti-Syrian vandalism at Calgary school

Urges Police to investigate incident as an alleged hate crime

(Ottawa – February 21, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, condemns the latest vandalism at a Calgary school and urges Calgary police to investigate the incident as a hate crime.

According to a media report, black spray-paint was used to scrawl hateful messages on the walls of a southeast Calgary school. The messages were both anti-Syrian and anti-Muslim, and included a threat against the Prime Minister of Canada. Windows were also smashed.

“It’s critical that police do everything they can to find those responsible for this hateful attack and bring them to justice,” says Aftab Sabir, a Calgary-based NCCM board member. “A strong message must be sent that such behaviour will not go unpunished. Calgarians have warmly welcomed Syrian refugees and these sentiments are not a reflection of the compassion that city residents have shown to date. Xenophobia and Islamophobia, along with all other forms of hatred, have no place in our communities.”

“Canadians must continue to be vigilant against the minority views that claim to be standing up for Canadian values by spreading hatred of Muslims and refugees,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “Our elected officials must continue to speak out forcefully against these attitudes and explore ways we can work together to counter such hate and ignorance that is impacting our communities.”

The NCCM maintains a database of reported hate crimes and incidents which is regularly updated and visible on its online tracking map, which was launched last June as part of a national awareness campaign. The number of hate crimes and incidents documented in the database more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.

A newly updated NCCM Community Safety Guide provides tips and information about keeping Canadian Muslim institutions and congregations safe and is available for print order. The NCCM also presents workshops to educate communities about their rights and responsibilities when faced with a possible hate crime.

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