Canada: Muslim women targeted by repeated threats

3rd Mar 2021
Canada: Muslim women targeted by repeated threats

By Barry Ellsworth

 

TRENTON, Canada (AA): Attacks and threats against five Somali-Canadian Muslim women have been reported in Edmonton, Alberta in the last 10 weeks, according to media reports Tuesday.

In the Alberta province cities of Edmonton and Calgary, 140 incidents were reported in 2020, including death threats.

But there are many so-called hate crimes that go unreported because they are so frequent, said Assam Ali, an Edmonton hospital nurse, who spoke to Global News.

Ali, a Somali-Canadian, said she has been targeted repeatedly with slurs because of her hijab and dark skin.

“Most of my visibly Muslim friends and family members have a story of some kind of Islamophobia,” said Ali. “The general public hears about this through the media, while our reality is that these are our sisters and our mothers.”

Last month a man uttered racial slurs against a Muslim female at the University of Alberta. And in a separate incident, a man knocked down a female, threatened her life and tore off her burqa, a robe used by Muslim women.

On Feb. 17, a man cursed a hijab-wearing Black Muslim woman and threatened to kill her.

Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee said the police service is doubling down in its effort to work with the Somali community to address racially motivated assaults.

“We’ve got to listen to what they need and then we’ve got to figure out how we can … actually get some of the changes that they need,” he said at a news conference Tuesday.

While Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and others have condemned the attacks, Mustafa Farooq said more must be done to battle Islamophobia.

“Anti-Black racism is a real problem in Alberta,” said Farooq, chief executive officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)/

“Tension and fear are high,” he said in a statement. “That’s why we are calling for the immediate creation of a bipartisan provincial-municipal committee to deal with the challenge of racist and Islamophobic street harassment.”

There are an estimated 113,000 Muslims in Alberta, according to the latest figures in 2011, according to the news website.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of Canada by CIA/Public Domain]

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