NCCM denounces vandalism of Islamic centre in London and newly emerged video of anti-Muslim attack in Calgary

Calls on authorities to investigate and on officials to publicly condemn anti-Muslim hate

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – July 22, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, denounces the racist vandalism of a Muslim community centre in London, Ontario which occurred this past weekend.  The NCCM also condemns a racist and anti-Muslim attack on a Calgary cab driver captured by video and which emerged this week.

Attack in London, Ont.

Worshippers arrived at the Bosnian Canadian Islamic Centre to find offensive words spray-painted across the side of the building.  Officials with the centre contacted police immediately and have asked for a full investigation.

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“This is very distressing. The mosque is open daily for prayers and it’s full on Fridays.  There are families, young children who attend. We are concerned for the safety of this community, which is typically very inclusive and peaceful,” said an Islamic Centre spokesperson.

This is the first time that the centre has been targeted in this way.

“It’s heartening to know that the neighbourhood around the centre is generally friendly. However, this makes investigating this incident all the more pressing to ensure whoever perpetrated this crime is swiftly brought to justice in order to send a strong signal to other potential perpetrators,” says Ihsaan Gardee, NCCM’s executive director.

“We commend the centre officials for contacting their local police service and their local media and for speaking out against such hate, as well as for contacting the NCCM so that a record of these incidents can be kept.  Responsibility now lies on the wider community to stand united against such un-Canadian acts. Canadian Muslims know that these attacks do not represent the views of the vast majority of our fellow citizens.”

Attack in Calgary, Ab.

Also this week, a shocking video of a racist and anti-Muslim attack against a Calgary cab driver two years ago surfaced in a media investigation of the taxi industry.

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“The video is disturbing and particularly so because the attacker was never charged with uttering threats, or assault.  We continue to call on all Canadians to immediately report hateful and racist attacks to their local authorities and to not remain silent.  The perpetrator should have been charged and brought to justice,” says Gardee.

“Canadians also expect to hear from their elected officials that such hatred and racism have no place in our communities.”

The NCCM urges Canadian Muslim communities across the country to review its Community Safety Guide.

Further, the NCCM keeps statistics on reported hate crimes and incidents. These cases are regularly updated on a new online map as part of a recently-launched hate crimes and hate incidents awareness campaign.

CONTACT: Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, 613.254.9704