TORONTO – A leading Canadian Muslim group has warned against a spike in Islamophobic attacks across Canada in the wake of the Danforth shooting when a man called Faisal Hussain opened fire in Greektown, Toronto on July 22.
“Either way, we can’t win sometimes,” Leila Nasr, a spokeswoman of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, told The Province.
“Every time things like this happen, the Muslim community has to go into damage control to somehow defend itself from people who wish to lump everyone into the same category.”
Hussain killed two people and wounded thirteen, before committing suicide -which is forbidden in Islam- after a shootout with Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers.
Although the average number of recorded incidents between April and June was 1.5, the Muslim Council says there have been five in the past week alone.
Four hours before Ball’s attack, a 17-year-old Halifax Muslim woman was walking to a bus stop from Dalhousie University when she was approached by a white man from a European ancestry who yelled “F— you, f— all Muslims,” before telling her to go back to her country.
Moreover, on July 29, Peel Regional Police near Toronto arrested Sandra Alexander, 35, for allegedly trying to rip the hijab off the head of an 18-year-old Muslim woman while “flicking a lighter.” She was charged with assault with a weapon, assault and uttering threats.
Tip of Iceberg
The latest attack came when a Muslim family in Toronto, Canada was attacked by a white man who screamed at them: “I’ll kill you.”
The middle-aged white man of a European ancestry approached the victims at the city’s ferry docks, pushed two men and screamed: “Where the f— are you from?”
A video of the xenophobic charged incident shows the white man continuously advances toward one of the three men in the Muslim family until they’re forehead-to-forehead.
“You don’t ask me a f—ing question in my province,” the man says, shoving one of the Muslim men into a child.
The attack escalates until the white man begins to scream at the Muslim man, who repeatedly told him that he was born in Ontario: “I’ll f—ing kill you… Welcome to Ontario, a–hole.”
The racist attacker, Lombray Ball, 50, was arrested on July 27 and charged with two counts of assault and threatening death.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Ibrahim Hindy, an Imam at the Dar Al-Tawheed mosque said while confirming that members of his mosque community often tell him about hate incidents they experience and he “practically begs” them to report it.
His wife experienced the same behavior, Hindy said, when years ago, a man approached her in a parking lot and insulted her while shouting “go back to your country”.
The council has collected data on anti-Muslim hate incidents since 2013. It keeps track of the incident reports that members of the Muslim community file with them along with those that are publicly reported.