Canadian Muslims condemn Islamist radical violence, now face increased aggression themselves
After two recent attacks reportedly committed by Islamists in Canada, the number of attempted attacks against members of the Muslim community has risen sharply. The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) announced the increase last Thursday.
Muslim children are, according to the group, being subjected to harassment in the schools, while their parents are receiving frequent offensive or threatening messages placed beneath the windshield wipers of their vehicles. In recent days, Canada has been dominated by fear of extremism after an Islamist radical drove his car into a group of police officers in Montreal, killing one.
Two days later an extremist attacked the Parliament in Ottawa, shooting dead one soldier. According to the NCCM, the number of cases of unwarranted attacks on members of the Muslim community increased tenfold after those incidents.
Prior to the Islamist attacks the NCCM had received roughly five reports a week about anti-Muslim occurrences, but currently the organization is receiving 50 such reports per week. The Canadian Muslim community thoroughly condemned both Islamist radical attacks and many leading Canadian politicians have called on the population to refrain from revenge attacks on Muslims.
According to authorities, the vast majority of Canadians are adhering to that call, but attacks against individuals are still occurring. In the province of Alberta, for example, local residents had to clean and repair a mosque in the town of Cold Lake after vandals attacked it.
People interviewed for a brief video on the issue published by news server The Independent have also demonstrated bravery. The bystanders had unwittingly become participants in a social experiment in which an actor pretended to be a Muslim dressed in a traditional caftan waiting for a bus and another actor pretended to be a xenophobic aggressor who verbally assaulted the Muslim and demanded he leave the bus stop.
The other people waiting for the bus stood up for the man in Muslim dress and countered the aggressor's behavior. "You can't categorize and judge people by their clothing, their nationality, or anything else. What happened in Ottawa was the action of a fanatic," a man waiting for the bus said.
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