The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is condemning in the strongest possible terms the brutal assault of a Mississauga man, Muhammad Abu Marzouk, near the Mississauga Valley Community Centre on Sunday night following a picnic with his family.
According to a media reports, Mr. Marzouk and his family – including his wife and two young daughters – were returning home when two men who were passing began kicking the victim’s car, shouting at the family saying “f—king Arab people! Terrorists”.
When Mr. Marzouk exited the vehicle to talk to the men, they attacked him. The attack was incorrectly reported as a ‘road rage’ incident by mainstream media, however police have now confirmed they are investigating it as a hate crime.
“We are extremely appalled by this horrific assault and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim, their family and the local Muslim community who are understandably very shaken by this heinous crime. Such hateful and cowardly acts are abhorrent to all Canadians who stand united in condemning all crimes motivated by xenophobia and hatred,” said NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
“To ensure we can learn from this vicious crime, we must pause to remember the wider context in which it took place. Earlier this year, the Peel Police recorded a 168% increase in police-reported hate crimes between 2016 and 2017. In particular, we saw a 91% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the region. While we do not believe this attack represents the sentiments of the vast majority of Canadians, incidents like these remind us that there is much work to be done to banish hate and Islamophobia from our communities,” said NCCM Communications Coordinator Leila Nasr.
“We call on the authorities to prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law in order to send a strong message against hate and intolerance,” added Gardee.
For those wishing to show their support, a LaunchGood crowdfunding campaign is collecting donations for Mr. Marzouk and his family. Contributions can be made online.