NCCM welcomes expansion of support for communities at risk of hate-motivated crimes

(Ottawa – November 30, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the federal government’s expansion of the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP) aimed at supporting communities at risk of hate-motivated crimes.

On November 28th, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale made the announcement in Parliament, referencing a spate of anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and racist vandalism that took place in Ottawa.

“Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the representations made by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the National Council of Canadian Muslims and others; there is no place for racist and hateful conduct like we’ve seen sadly in recent weeks,” said Minister Goodale.

The program will now be expanded to provide up to half of all security-related costs for houses of worship, schools, and community centres used by communities at risk of being targeted in hate crimes.

“This funding is important because it only takes one criminal to potentially do much harm,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “It’s unfortunate that enhanced security is required for community institutions. However, we do know that there are individuals and groups who may act out on their hatred and ignorance to target specific groups.”

Since the election of Donald Trump in the United States, there have been a number of reports of alleged hate crimes and incidents here in Canada.

The NCCM urges Canadian Muslim communities across the country to review its Community Safety Guide and to immediately report any suspicious activities to law enforcement and to the NCCM so that a record of these incidents can be maintained.

Further, the NCCM keeps statistics on reported anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents through its online hate crimes and incidents map.

Elected officials, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to sign NCCM’s Charter for Inclusive Communities launched earlier this year to affirm that Islamophobia and other forms of racism, hate, xenophobia and bigotry have no place in Canadian society.

In the past month alone, the town of Ajax, and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo joined other cities and institutions from across Canada in supporting the Charter.