Pubnlished:June 10, 2021
OTTAWA – A national Muslim organization says it wants to start conversations with federal and provincial governments about strengthening hate laws and adding more groups to Canada’s list of terrorist organizations.
This comes in the wake of what police have called a hate-motivated attack in London, Ont., Sunday, which left four members of a Muslim family dead and their nine-year-old boy seriously hurt.
In the days since the horrific crime, the National Council for Canadian Muslims has been calling for a summit on Islamophobia with all levels of government.
Fatema Abdalla with the NCCM says the council wants to discuss reviewing and strengthening laws around hate crimes and terrorism. The NCCM also wants to talk about taking specific action to tackle online hate, and for the federal government to add more white supremacist groups in Canada to the list of terrorist organizations.
“Because they continue to spread hate, they continue to spew violence, and it’s a rising concern,” she said Thursday. “Over 250 white supremacist organizations still exist and haven’t been dismantled and haven’t been added onto the terrorist list.”
Abdalla says this is a problem that affects more than just Muslims.
“It’s Islamophobia, it’s attacks on women, attacks on the Jewish community, and minorities in Canada,” she added.
The group also wants to close what it describes as loopholes in municipal laws around street harassment.
The federal justice minister’s office says in a statement that it’s committed to protecting the safety and security of all Canadians, and that it’s always willing to listen and continue to look for ways to constructively improve laws. The office notes work is already underway to create a director of terrorism prosecution, and to tackle the issue of online hate.
The prime minister has promised to do more but has yet to specify what actions his government will take.