A look at the various incidents of hate crimes occuring in Ontario,Quebec and other parts of Canada
Following the attacks on Paris, France, multiple instances of hate crimes against Muslim citizens throughout Ontario have been reported.
“I feel like we’re being judged for something we had nothing to do with,” stated Shara Fathima in an interview with CBC, on Friday during a march in Toronto where hundreds of people gathered to call for peace through Toronto after a series of attacks targeted Muslims in different communities.
“You really realize it could happen to any one of us,” stated 17 year old Sara Ahmad at the rally, showing just how much the atmosphere of the “multi-cultural” capital of the world, Toronto, has changed.
Presented, are brief descriptions of the several hate crimes that happened across Canada in the last week.
- A Hindu Temple was vandalized on Nov. 15, according to police, who stated that five stones were thrown through two windows at the Ram Dham Hindu temple in Kitchener. Currently, investigators are not specifically referring to the incident as a “hate crime”, but they remain open to the notion that it was possibly motivated by the recent Paris attacks.
- At the University of Toronto, on Nov. 16, a Muslim student attending the school claims that he was spat on and verbally insulted outside of Robarts Library. According to the victim whose name is being withheld at this time, he was spat on directly in the face by an unidentified male who tried to force him to take off his “turban”. This is despite the fact that the victim was wearing a topi, a short, cap worn in many Islamic communities throughout Canada and the rest of the world.
- On Nov. 16, a Muslim woman in Toronto was attacked and robbed in broad day light outside of a Toronto elementary school by two unidentified white men who called her a “terrorist”, and told her to “go back home”. They additionally pulled on her hijab and punched her in the stomach before taking her money and cellphone and fleeing the scene.
- In other Toronto-related news, two Muslim woman were verbally assaulted while riding the Toronto Subway during the evening of Nov.18. According to local authorities, two men and a woman boarded the train and proceeded to make highly racist remarks about the two Muslim women, suggesting that they were both terrorists, TTC spokesman Brad Ross stated in an interview with CBC. One of the women was apparently pushed by one of the suspects, who has since been identified as a minor.
Mosque targeted by potential “hate crimes”
On Nov. 14, a fire was started purposefully at the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association’s mosque in Peterborough, Ont., causing roughly $80,000 in damage to the property.
According to police, the charge of arson may be accompanied with additional hate crime charges considering the building that was targeted.
Despite the building being severely damaged, donations have been pouring in from throughout Peterborough, with more that 2,100 contributors donating more than $110,000 as of Monday night.
According to the fire marshal that was on the scene, the blaze was clearly set “deliberately”, with Sgt. Tim Millard of the local police stating that no more info will be released until the fire marshal’s office finishes its report.
“An injury to any citizen of any faith in the community is an injury to us all,” stated Peterborough Police Chief, Murray Rodd, expressing his deepest condolences to the Muslim community.
Addressing the issue, Prime Minister Trudeau in a speech, stated that Canadians need to understand that,“Muslims around the world are also being persecuted regularly by these violent extremists. We’re in this together”, stressing the importance of national unity.
“To the families who attend the mosque for prayer every week, the Government of Canada and our law-enforcement agencies will protect your rights and make every effort to apprehend the perpetrator,” said Trudeau.
Montreal man charged in response to online threats
A resident of Montreal is facing serious charges following the posting of an online video in which the suspect, dressed as the Joker, promised to kill one Muslims or Arab every week.
In the video, the suspect dressed in an outfit reminiscent of Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker from Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” including a cut-out mask used to conceal his identity. He vowed retribution for the Paris attacks carried out by ISIS members last week.
“I will shoot an Arab in the head, one each week, starting next week,” the suspect said in the video, adding that he was supported by a gang of “more than 10 Quebecers” who would be helping him in his perverse quest.
Later, the suspect is seen holding what appears to be a black pistol (as pictured to the right). He cocks the weapon and unintentionally reveals an orange cap at the end of the barrel, suggesting that the weapon featured in the video is nothing more than a toy.
Local authorities identified the suspect in the video as 24-year-old Jesse Pelletier, who was described as a “socially-demented” adult by police.
According to the The Surete du Quebec (The Quebec Provincial Police), they are currently investigating the video and arrested Pelletier on Nov. 18, recovering the ‘gun’ used in the video at the accused’s house.
In response to this, Pelletier, has been charged with uttering death threats, as well as incitement of hatred and perpetrating a terror hoax.
“He is definitely out of himself because he has never been in jail,” Pelletier’s lawyer, Audrey Amzallag, stated in a press release on Wednesday. “He has a son at home. He has a wife at home. He’s definitely scared of what’s going to happen.”
Originally being posted under the name Jack Napier, which coincidentally enough, was the alias used by the Joker from Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman”, the video has since currently gained international attention in the wake of the growing anti-racist movement sweeping online.
When interviewed, Pelletier’s mother-in-law, Chantal Plante, stated that she originally thought the video itself was a joke, describing Pelletier as a good husband and father despite being “a bit racist.”