NCCM welcomes wide condemnation of anti-Muslim posters found at University of Calgary campus
“An act of hatred against one of us is an act of hatred against all of us.”
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – October 5, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the swift condemnation of anti-Muslim posters that were posted at the University of Calgary.
According to media reports, around 40 posters with derogatory comments and images were discovered in various locations around campus. Calgary police were notified and the incident is still under investigation. Students, faculty, and administrators held a rally in support of Muslims on campus in response to the incidents.
“It’s unfortunate to see hateful acts committed against Muslims, or any other group,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “Such incidents underscore the reality of Islamophobia in our communities. Calgary community members are very disturbed by this incident; however, the outpouring of support by the campus community, as well as from the wider community is heartening. Strong statements of solidarity from elected officials, including Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley, sends an important message: hate has no place in our communities.”
This latest incident comes two weeks after similar posters were found on the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton. Those posters depicted insulting messages targeting the Sikh community.
Media reports have also confirmed that some residents in a northwest community near the University of Calgary also received anti-Muslim posters in their mailboxes. The posters had similar offensive messages as those found on campus.
Around the country, there have been other reports about increasing number of hate incidents in recent weeks, including KKK posters left in neighbourhoods in Vancouver, British Columbia, and swastikas spray painted on schools in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Surrey, British Columbia and Ottawa, Ontario.
“We stand in solidarity with all communities,” says Gardee. “An act of hatred against one of us is an act of hatred against all of us.”
Hate crimes and incidents targeting Canadian Muslims reported to NCCM increased by a third since this time last year. Though, up to two-thirds of all hate crimes go unreported, according to Statistics Canada.
The NCCM launched a Charter for Inclusive Communities last summer which condemns all forms of bigotry. The Charter has so far been endorsed by several municipalities, over a hundred elected officials, institutional representatives, and individuals.
A petition condemning Islamophobia sponsored by MP Frank Baylis (Pierrefonds-Dollard) has been signed by over 66, 000 people and will be presented in Parliament shortly. Thursday, October 6, 2016 is the last day to sign the petition.