Author of the article:Laura Beamish Publishing date: Jun 21, 2021
Saying “No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here,” people walked down Hardin Street in downtown Fort McMurray Saturday evening in a march against hatred towards Muslims.
The march follows an attack in London, Ont. earlier in the month. The city’s police chief alleges a driver intentionally ran down five family members, killing four of them, because of their Islamic faith.Mazda aims to launch 13 electrified car models by 2025, including 3 full EVs
“Islamophobia is not isolated to this one terror attack. There is a pattern and it is alarming,” said event organizer Naseem Abdo.
“We will never be intimidated. We are proud Muslim Canadians. We are here to stay and we are here to do the best we can do for Canada and all Canadians.”
People must call out hate when they see it, said Wajeehullah Arain, speaking on behalf of the Markaz-Ul-Islam. He said more action needs to be taken by the government, there needs to be stronger legislation and stronger accountability.
Mayor Don Scott attended the march, along with Councillors Jane Stroud and Jeff Peddle. Speaking outside the provincial building, Scott said he stands with Fort McMurray’s Islamic community and that the municipality is working to fight hate crimes.
“Islamophobia, make no mistake it happens in this region,” said Scott. “We all need to do better. Canada needs to do better, Alberta needs to do better, Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo needs to do better. We all need to do better in standing against it.”
Both the Fort McMurray Catholic School Division and the Fort McMurray Public School Division had representatives march in solidarity.
“This is the second time in my term as a trustee that I’ve come out for a similar march and I have to tell you it breaks my heart that humanity can act so horrific and horrible,” said Linda Mywaart, FMPSD board trustee. “It’s our students that are counting on us most. To teach them about diversity, to teach them that although we are different we can celebrate that and still live in peace and harmony together.”
Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao and Fort McMurray Lac La Biche MLA Laila Goodridge spoke against hatred in the community.
The Alberta government has responded to the London attack by creating a provincial hate crimes unit. Religious and cultural centres can also apply for grants to improve security.
Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation said racism will continue if education against hate is neglected.
“I am the Chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan Prairie First Nation and I am the president of the Athabasca Tribal Council and I saw welcome to the Muslims here in Wood Buffalo,” he said. “We don’t need to struggle because the colour of our skin and the way we look or how we speak.”