An anti-Muslim hate crime is being investigated by the Hamilton police department
By Maryam Razzaq
Hamilton, Ontario police have arrested a man who committed a violent hate crime against two Canadian women from the Muslim community. A mother and her adult daughter were peacefully walking through a Shoppers Drug Mart Plaza around 9:30 p.m. Monday evening, when the perpetrator tried to run them over with his vehicle. The suspect terrified the family with his car while he uttered racial slurs and threats of committing more violence against members within the Muslim community. The family had run and hide behind bushes across the street from being hit by the suspects vehicle, but continued to pursue them as he shouted, he was going to kill them. Only after one of the ladies screamed for help, witnesses intervened, and the suspect fled the scene.
The Hamilton police announced that a 40-year-old resident has been apprehended as of Tuesday afternoon in connection with the hate crime. The suspect appeared in court yesterday to faces multiple charges; including two counts of assault with a weapon, three counts of uttering threats to cause death, dangerous operation, and failure to comply probation.
A member of the family has since released a statement.
“We are shaken but broken after the attack on our family. Let us be clear: this individual attempted to terrorize our family. While we cannot share many details in light of an ongoing criminal investigation, we can generally say what happened last night. An individual drove dangerously up to our family members. He swore at them. He cursed them with a number of racist and Islamophobic slurs. He threatened to murder them. He tried to tail them home in his vehicle,” read the statement.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Communications Coordinator, Fatema Abdulla has said that they have received several reports about attacks against Muslims across Canada after the horrific terror attack in London which took the lives of an entire Muslim family, with only a child surviving while out for an evening walk.
“More recently, in the last month, it seems as though there’s a new attack every week. Enough is enough. It’s about time that we turn these calls into real, tangible change in policy and action,” said Abdulla.
Hamilton Police Chief, Frank Bergen has said that the police force will do everything to ensure the safety of Muslims living in Hamilton.
“We continue to be outraged by these blatant acts of hatred. We stand with the Muslim community here in Hamilton and across the country in condemning Islamophobia,” said Bergen.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau also commented on the hate crime.
“I’m deeply disturbed by the reports of an Islamophobic attack on Muslim women in Hamilton yesterday – and I strongly condemn this violent, hateful, and abhorrent behavior. It has no place in our country or any of our communities. We will continue to stand together and take action,” said Trudeau.
This latest anti-Muslim act of hate comes just weeks after another family was target and killed by a truck, wiping out three generations of Canadians.
A National Action Summit on Islamophobia is scheduled for July 22 and Muslims across the nation hope for meaningful change by government to stop the attacks against the Muslim community.