Muslim community condemns attack on Islamic school in Ottawa
Authorities must crack down on hate crimes

September 27, 2006

Montreal, Quebec, Sept. 27, 2006- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) expresses its concern over this past weekend’s arson attack at the Abraar School in Ottawa.

“It is not the first time our Islamic institutions have been attacked and we implore the authorities to treat this as a hate crime and move swiftly to punish the perpetrators,” Salam Elmenyawi, president of MCM, stated. “The fact that the attack coincided with the start of the holy month of Ramadan is even more deplorable.”

MCM is alarmed over the numerous incidents of hate crimes across Canada, making note of the recent attack on the Montreal Jewish school, as well as the recent vandalism of mosques in Winnipeg and Toronto and the knife attack on an Imam in Montreal, to name a few.

“The government can no longer stay silent in face of all these heinous attacks on religious institutions,” Elmenyawi said. “In addition to strengthening the application of current laws, new policies and laws are needed, in order to effectively fight hate, racism and discrimination within our society.”

MCM calls for harsher penalties and zero-tolerance for all hate crimes and religious discrimination and also suggests that the federal government initiate a countrywide campaign to raise awareness of hate crimes and racism within Canadian society.

MCM will be appearing before the Commission on Racism and Discrimination in Quebec City on September 27th to address the problem of racism and discrimination in our society and to discuss solutions for eradicating these ills.