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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Two Anti-Muslim Incidents in Alberta

Last Friday Syed Soharwardy, a well known Calgary-based imam alleges he was twice struck by a car driven by a woman who also shouted anti-Islam epithets at him. Soharwardy wasn't injured, but he was understandably shaken by the experience.

And the reaction of some of the boneheads we follow? Not exactly unexpected:

While it might be expected that xenophobic, racist, antisemetic, anti-Muslim, violent, boneheads would support attacks on Muslims in the country, the unchecked rhetoric equating all Muslims with terrorists has appeared to have resulted in an upswing in anti-Muslim sentiments (as indicated by the comments on the "more mainstream" Calgary Sun. Until something is done, we anticipate that will not improve soon.

Anti-Muslim vandals strike Fort Saskatchewan home twice 
National Council of Canadian Muslims notes recent rise in anti-Islam sentiment 
By Andrea Huncar
CBC News Posted: Sep 16, 2014 7:59 AM MT Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014 7:59 AM MT

Members of Fort Saskatchewan’s Muslim community are once again cleaning up after a home that they use for prayer was vandalized with anti-Islam insults twice in the past week. 

Waseem Akhtar, who lives in the home, awoke to the sounds of something striking the side of the building early Monday morning. 

“They hit some stuff outside of my bedroom. And then, I opened my window curtain...and they just ran away,” Akhtar said. 

When he went outside to look, he found his home had been pelted with eggs; many of the bits of eggshells spread across his lawn had anti-Muslim insults written on them in marker. 

Less than a week earlier, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks in New York, vandals spray-painted a red cross on the side of Akhtar’s home. 

He says that one of his housemates has moved out of fear. Akhtar worries that he hasn’t seen the last of it. 

“I'm very scared,” he said. “We are living very peacefully over here. So, never happened, this kind of incident." 

“I can expect anything in the next couple of days. They can attack again." 

Spike reported in anti-Muslim incidents 

Muslim organizations in Canada say they’ve noticed a spike in reports of anti-Islam sentiment in recent weeks. 

Last week, a Calgary imam claimed he was was struck by a vehicle while walking to Friday prayer. He says the woman who was driving the vehicle shouted ethnic slurs and called him a terrorist.

 Amy Awad, human rights coordinator for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, says the recent spike in incidents is likely due to increased attention on ISIS militants in Iraq. 

“The more people see negative stories about people who appear to be Muslim, the more suspicious they might become,” she said. 

“And that can feels of hatred...and hate incidents like these ones.” 

Fort Saskatchewan RCMP say they are investigating the vandalism to Akhtar’s home.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Thank you for sharing these news articles. This comes on the heels of the own it conference where Muslims gathered to discuss deradicalization and an outreach event with members of public safety Canada in both Edmonton and Calgary. It is indeed a polarizing time which we live in.