NCCM deeply troubled by recent anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant incidents

Urges authorities to investigate them as potential hate crimes

(Ottawa – April 12, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, expresses deep concern about a series of reported anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant incidents.

In Alberta, two separate incidents of assault against two Syrian refugees were reported this week along with vandalism and arson against a Muslim family. In Ontario, a Windsor woman was subjected to racial slurs and threats and an Ottawa-area Islamic school was vandalized.

The incidents appear to be part of a recent trend of anti-Muslim incidents that the NCCM has been tracking and which have been independently corroborated by Statistics Canada and more recently by the Toronto Police Service.

“Canadians of all backgrounds have expressed their outrage at these cowardly acts that do not reflect the values we cherish or the warm welcome refugees have received,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate each incident as a potential hate crime and work to swiftly apprehend and hold the perpetrators to account.

“Our elected leaders at all levels must continue to condemn such acts and the Islamophobic attitudes that give rise to them and work together with communities to challenge hatred and ignorance. A clear message needs to be heard that such hateful incidents will not go unpunished and those espousing views that encourage them shall not go unchallenged,” says Gardee.

The NCCM maintains an online database of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents 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 hate crimes, as well as workshops on Islamophobia.

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