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Canadian Government Must Protect Arab and West Asian Citizens from Hate Crimes

By Khaled Mouammar

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 13, 2011


The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) views with concern the report issued by Statistics Canada on June 7 showing that racially-motivated hate crimes against Arab and West Asian Canadians have risen by 100 percent in 2009. CAF believes that the real figure is much higher because many incidents are not reported to police by these two vulnerable communities composed mostly of newcomers.
CAF finds it regrettable that a statement issued on June 8 by Jason Kenney Minister of Citizenhsip and Immigration, expressing concern about the increase in the number of hate crimes reported in Canada in 2009, referred to some of the findings of the StatsCan report but failed to mention that the greatest increase in incidents targeted Arab and West Asian Canadians.
CAF believes that certain government policies and the government’s failure to confront hatred directed against Arab and West Asian Canadians in public discourse, in print media and social media have been responsible for the dramatic rise in hate crime incidents targeting Arab and West Asian Canadians.
The Canadian government's misguided fear of its Muslim population can be seen in the rendition and torture of Canadian Maher Arar, as well as three other Muslim Canadians, all of whom were tortured, only to be found innocent; in the detention of five Muslim men for a total of 25 years under the controversial security certificates, without ever being charged with a crime, and the fact that 2 of these security certificates have so far been quashed by the courts; and in the refusal to lend a helping hand to 2 Muslim Canadians stranded overseas.
While the Canadian government prohibited former British MP George Galloway from entering Canada in 2009 because of his support for Palestinain rights, they allowed Dutch politican Geert Wilders to be hosted last month at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa which receives half of its funding from the federal govenrment. Mr. Wilders promotes hatred against Islam and Muslims and calls for not accepting any more Muslim immigrants.
CAF calls upon the Canadian government to abandon its past misguided policies affecting vulnerable segments of its population; to take immediate and concrete measures to protect its Arab and West Asian citizens from hate crimes; and to send a clear message to hatemongers that it will not tolerate bigotry and racism against its citizens due to their race, religion or colour.

Khaled Mouammar
CAF National President

Canadian Arab Federation
La Fédération Canado-Arabe


Established in 1967, the Canadian Arab Federation is a national, non-partisan, non profit and membership-based organization. CAF represents Canadian Arabs on issues relating to public policy.




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