Professor of Sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. Dr. Jasmin Zine made evaluations about the anti-Muslim rhetoric and actions that paved the way for the attacks targeting another mosque in the same region on April 9, following the attack on the Markham Islamic Society Mosque in the York region on 6 April.
Zine stated that the first attack by Sharan Karunakaran on 6 April triggered the other attack as well, adding, “After the Islamophobic attack at Markham Mosque, another apparently unrelated hate crime took place in another mosque in the same region. Another man (Mohssen Bayani) entered the parking lot. He got out of his vehicle and began harassing the worshipers. Both of these attacks took place during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims spend most of their time in the mosque.” he said.
Noting that the Montreal police are also investigating a man who entered the Al-Omah Al-Islamiah Mosque with a stone, Zine said, “Islamophobia has reached deadly proportions in Canada. We see violent hate crimes targeting Muslims. showed more.” made its assessment.
Stating that it is not yet known whether the perpetrators of the attacks were affiliated with any anti-Muslim hate groups, Zine said, “Although the relationship of these people with anti-Muslim groups is not known at the moment, they may have been inspired by the Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Muslim disinformation campaigns spread by these groups on social media.” shared his opinion.
“Anti-Muslim sentiment is reinforced by negative metaphors on social media”
Pointing out that there has been an increase in anti-Muslim incidents in Canada in recent years, Zine said, “There are many examples of anti-Muslim racism, from deadly hate crimes and mosque vandalism to systemic discrimination in employment. “The Muslim man was shot dead. Then, on June 6, 2021, another attack took place in Ontario that killed 4 members of a Pakistani-Canadian Muslim family with a truck. Both attacks were carried out by men with white nationalist beliefs.” used the phrase.
Underlining that the fear of Islam and Muslims spread through the content produced on social media, Zine continued as follows:
“Globally, anti-Muslim sentiment continues to flourish through the anti-Muslim horror stories and conspiracy theories circulating widely on the Internet, and these sentiments are reinforced by negative metaphors that characterize Muslims as a threat to Western society and civilization. Towards Muslims as a potential security threat or to engage them in secular democracy. “Government policies and practices, which they describe as incompatible, also create moral panic over the Muslim presence in Western countries.”
Noting that government policies in Canada create excessive suspicion and distrust towards Muslims, Zine said, “There are law No. 21 that prohibits civil servants from wearing religious clothing in Quebec, and the security practices that the Canada Revenue Agency monitors Muslim charities. This policy, which shows Muslims as a suspicious community, and Considering the harmful effects of these practices on society, they must be terminated now.” he said.
“It is disturbing that the Special Envoy for Islamophobia is censored for fighting Islamophobia”
Recalling that she was appointed as the first special envoy to combat anti-Muslimism in Canada, Zine said, “Unfortunately, shortly after Amira Elghawaby was appointed to this post, due to her statement years ago in which she expressed her concern about opinion polls showing that negative attitudes about Muslims were high in Quebec. It faced unfair political backlash. It was very disturbing when someone appointed for this was censored or tried to be silenced for fighting Islamophobia.” used the phrase.
Mentioning that the Islamophobia Special Envoy visited the Markham Mosque where the attack took place and met with local community members, Zine said, “Mr. Elghawaby visited the targeted mosque and spent time listening to the community’s concerns. In addition, the Canadian Senate holds hearings on Islamophobia across the country. ” shared his knowledge.
Emphasizing that despite the evidence to the contrary, there is still a great deal of denial about anti-Muslimism in Quebec, Zine underlined that the recent mosque attacks have made Canadian Muslims uneasy.
Repeated mosque attacks in Toronto
On April 6, 28-year-old Sharan Karunakaran attacked the Markham Islamic Community Mosque in Toronto, Canada. .
The attacker, who fled after the incident, was caught by the regional police on 9 April and arrested.
On April 9, 3 days after the incident on 6 April, a hate-motivated attack was carried out on another mosque, this time in the same region, by a 47-year-old man named Mohssen Bayani.
While the attacks drew great reaction across the country, Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng published a message condemning the mosque attacks. Ng said, “Mosques are places of gathering and tranquility during the month of Ramadan, and everyone should feel safe in their places of worship. This violence and Islamophobia have no place in our society.” she used the expression she.
The National Council of Muslims of Canada stated that it was “great sadness” about the incident in its social media post.
Last year in Toronto, Canada, 5 people were injured when a vehicle was fired on those who were leaving the tarawih prayers.
On the other hand, according to the report prepared by Statistics Canada, hate crimes against Muslims increased by 71 percent in 2021 in the country.