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For Immediate Release:
Mississauga-June 19, 2017
The Muslim Council of Peel (MCP) is dismayed that people fearing Islam and Muslims are targeting schools. The presence of a group inciting hate in front of a school hurling slurs and insults were deeply felt by students and parents at a local Mississauga high school Friday afternoon. Schools are a safe haven for children where positive values are taught; where students learn to respect all members of society regardless of race, colour and religion. It is very disturbing that children cannot feel safe and protected at school.
“It is horrific when adults begin targeting children. We are extremely concerned that such hateful and harassing behaviour of adults will impact the mental well-being of children and leave lasting scars on young minds,: states Rabia Khedr, Executive Director.
With the rise of anti-Muslim hate crimes and their increasing severity in Canada and worldwide, MCP is concerned about such hate going unchecked and the message that this sends to Islamophobes. As a result, MCP fears that hate crimes will escalate in frequency and severity if each incident happens without any intervention.
MCP is equally worried about the growing frustration in the community about such acts of hate taking place without any police intervention and charges. MCP fears that this perception of complacency of authorities will contribute to mistrust and greater vulnerability particularly among youth.
We call on police to use their authority to its fullest extent to ensure students feel safe and do not have to confront such hate in the vicinity of their school.
We call on the Peel District School Board to utilize all possible resources to support its students to cope with the impact after Friday’s experience. We expect the board to take extensive measures to prevent future incidents in its school vicinity in order to restore a sense of safety and security among the student body.
Finally, we appeal to Peel residents, especially parents, to not let hateful rhetoric from such fringe groups impact all our children. Please discuss the incident with children and assure them that they are safe and that there is no place for such hate in Canada.