Vigils renewed across Canada, on Friday, to demand practical measures to curb hate crimes against Muslims, as thousands gathered in several cities to condemn the phenomenon of Islamophobia, after the crime of running over a Muslim family on the sixth of this month in London, Ontario.
This move came as an initiative called by the Islamic Society of Canada (MAC), in cooperation with more than 100 Islamic institutions and civil society organizations, and was implemented in 11 cities, including Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Calgary, Edmonton and Kitchener, in addition to London – Ontario, which witnessed the crime . Read also Was the extreme right in Canada affected by the “Trump phenomenon” during the Trudeau era? .. Testimony of a Muslim immigrant The New York Times: Amid grief for the Muslim family, Canada struggles to confront Islamophobia Muslim blood on the sidewalk of Canada.
The association added that these thousands expect the government and the elected and legislative bodies to take serious and tangible steps to combat Islamophobia and the hatred and hatred it causes, and to deal with the problem from its roots.
The association considered that the activists demand the rejection of Law 21 of the province of Quebec, which stipulates the prohibition of religious symbols, including the veil, and calls for adequate protection for Muslim gatherings, centers and mosques, and to confront the ideas of the extreme right.
Two weeks ago, the Muslim community in Canada has been active in denouncing the crime in which an extremist youth ran over a Muslim family, killing 4 people and injuring a fifth child. After the crime, the city of London witnessed a mass march of 7 kilometers to denounce the crime, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced. “This massacre was not an accident, but a terrorist attack motivated by hate.”
The contacts of Muslim organizations with officials are continuing to urge the government to “organise a national action summit on Islamophobia, bring together leaders from all levels of the state, and result in the drawing of a road map to end violence against Muslims,” according to a petition signed by more than 50 organizations.
In Montreal’s Victoria Square, hundreds gathered in the rain on Friday to denounce the recurrence of hate crimes against Muslims, and several activists spoke on the platform, calling on the government to act.
On the sidelines of the stand, the director of the Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization in Montreal, Iyad Abu Hamed, told Al Jazeera Net that the phenomenon of Islamophobia must be dealt with seriously, as the government had previously denounced this phenomenon and condemned it, but the repetition of crimes means the need to criminalize it legally.
Abu Hamed denounced placing Islamic institutions under follow-up and treating them with some suspicion, considering that these institutions must be dealt with on an equal footing with all other institutions in the country without discrimination.
On the media level, Abu Hamed pointed to the absence or lack of official media coverage of the stand, calling on the Canadian media to be more objective and professional in dealing with Muslim issues.
During the stand in Montreal, the head of the Canadian Islamic Forum, Samer Majzoub, told Al Jazeera Net that this gathering aims to remind once again that Islamophobia is no longer a pathological condition but a terrorist condition, considering that it is not just a case of hatred and hatred against Muslims, but rather has evolved into violence and massacres, as he described.
He added, “We are here to say that it is good to hear expressions of sympathy, and that there is recognition of the existence of the phenomenon of Islamophobia, and Canada is the first Western country to admit this, but now we have to move from verbal recognition and expression of feelings to practical measures.”
Majzoub pointed out that the federal government headed by Justin Trudeau is well aware of the demands of Muslims, but Canada is a confederal state. positive response.
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In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, youth representative Salsabil Zayed said, “We are here as youth to convey our voice to decision makers and party leaders, and to remind them that the phenomenon of Islamophobia is spreading in Canada, and that they must take quick and effective measures to address it and address its causes.”
When asked about her opinion of the government’s position, Salsabil, who was one of the speakers during the vigil, said that the government was late in taking the necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of these terrorist acts after the Quebec mosque massacre in 2017.
And she called for the need to prosecute and criminalize far-right groups that believe in the superiority of the white race, because they sow hatred and extremism in the minds of young people, considering that the perpetrator of the last massacre was not born carrying that hatred, but rather it was implanted in his mind, which incited him to commit the crime at the age of twenty-two.