Proceeds going toward the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights
EDMONTON – Dozens of Canadians turned out on January 6 to support the “Chop Shop” barber shop in Edmonton, Central Canada, at its anti-racism fundraiser, a month after it was targeted by an Islamophobic vandal, CBC reported.
“I never expected this turnout. It just shows the Edmonton that I know and that we want peace for our kids and our families and each other,” expressed the shop owner, Ahmad Akkashe.
The Muslim barber has raised money through an event called “Cut Hate with Hair”, with proceeds going toward the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, an organization that does human rights education and training in Edmonton.
In early December, Akkashe drove up to his shop with his four-year-old son to find the words “Kill Muslims” and “Kill Lebs” along with a Nazi swastika, spray painted in red on the windows.
However, Edmonton-McClung MLA Lorne Dach came by for a haircut a few days after the terror attack. After speaking with Akkashe, they decided to organize the “Cut Hate with Hair” event.
“Any time the hate crimes raise their head they have to be opposed. Silence emboldens those with those messages,” Dach said.
“So, we as a community, I believe, have to come together at every opportunity when we see these evidences of hate crimes bring themselves forward to oppose them. Otherwise, they’ll grow,” he continued.
The Canadian Police-reported Islamophobic terrorism against Asian Muslims doubled between 2016 and 2017 in Alberta, up from 15 to 30 incidents. The latest numbers from Statistics Canada also show hate crimes targeting Muslims in Canada more than doubled in 2017, to a total of 349 incidents.
Canada is one of the world’s most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations with a population of 35 million. Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82% over the past decade to more than 1 million in 2011. Muslims now represent 3.2% of Canada’s total population.