By Stephen Brown, CEO of NCCM
Asalamu alakaikum / Peace be upon you all
As we move through this wondrous month of prayer and reflection, it’s appropriate to remember just how lucky we are.
It is an honour and privilege to experience the sacred together with our loved ones. The right to pursue this experience is enshrined in our constitution. It is inviolable.
Yet there are forces that want to break our spirit. Those who attack us for who we are, for how we worship. Those who carry out Islamophobia that often threatens our very lives.
This Ramadan, forces of violence and division have visited our midst again. And we refuse to stand idly by.
Just last week, a man went to the Islamic Society of Markham at fajr and proceeded to try and ram worshippers with his car. He did not succeed because of the heroic actions of masjid volunteers and congregants.
Last month, hateful messages were painted in red on the walls of Toronto’s Towfiq Islamic Centre. Those who did it want to intimidate and discourage our faith and way of life.
These agents of hate will not break us. They will not break our unity during a time when Islamophobic hate crimes have been on the rise across Canada.
They will not deter us.
As they plot in hatred, we will work year after year for positive systemic change. To secure more funding to protect our places of worship. To push our leaders for a fresh plan to address hate and racism in Canada. To stand up for families that have been threatened by Islamophobia.
This is who we are. This is what we fight for.
We have been on the scene at the Towfiq Islamic Centre and the Islamic Society of Markham. To help community members navigate through tough times. To make sure that their voices are heard.
Our Legal Department takes at least seven calls a day from Canadian Muslims who need help dealing with various incidents of hate and discrimination. Our small team of lawyers work overtime to help, but their services are totally over-subscribed.
To handle these hundreds of calls and cases coming from across the country, we need your help. We are on the front lines of this battle. We need you to stand with us.
Join us to pave a path to justice for everyone, starting with the most vulnerable among us.
This Ramadan, do not stop your generosity. It is the lifeblood of what we do.
This is time to press forward. We need you on our side.