STATEMENTS FROM NCCM AND THE FAMILY OF MOHAMMAD ABU MARZOUK FOLLOWING SENTENCING
May 9th, 2023
(Mississauga, ON) – The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) notes the sentencing today of two brothers who assaulted two Muslim men over four years ago in Mississauga, Ontario.
Mohammed Abu Marzouk, then 39 years old, was driving his wife and children near the Mississauga Valley Community Centre on July 15th, 2018 when he was beaten viciously by two men who also yelled racist anti-Arab slurs towards him and his family.
The judge had strong words in noting the hate-motivation of the assault as an aggravating factor at sentencing.
Abu Marzouk lost consciousness due to the attack and sustained life-threatening injuries. His wife and kids saw the attack happen and have been deeply traumatized.
Fuat Yucel, then 49, a friend of Abu Marzouk’s, came to the latter’s aid and was also viciously beaten, sustaining major injuries.
The two brothers were both found guilty of aggravated assault and assault this past January. They were sentenced this morning to 6 years at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Brampton, Ontario.
“We note the sentencing, this is one long-awaited step in the Abu Marzouk and Yucel families’ journey towards healing. The unfortunate reality is that these families are not alone. The latest statistics illustrate the alarmingly consistent rise in hate-motivated crimes in Canada. Just within the last few weeks, we saw a number of attacks on Muslim communities. We know there is still much more to do to eradicate anti-Arab racism, Islamphobia and hate in Canada”, said NCCM COO Nadia Hasan.
The Abu Marzouk and Yucel families, as is typical for many who suffer such attacks, have been struggling for years in the aftermath of the incident—physically, mentally, and emotionally. This is the hidden and unreported reality of hate in Canada. The difficulties and traumas do not end when the attack ends.
“There is no sentence that can undo the harm to our family,” said Diana Attar, the wife of Abu Marzouk.
“We are glad this is over and that our family can move on towards the road to healing. We are also glad the judge considered the ongoing harm that our family has suffered, and the hatred that motivated the violence.”
To that end, NCCM has long been calling for a National Support Fund for Victims of Hate-Motivated Crimes administered at the federal level. It is one of the major policy recommendations produced by the 2021 National Action Summit on Islamophobia held after the attack that killed four members of a single Muslim family in London, Ontario.