Last week, Statistics Canada reported hate crimes in Canada increased by five per cent in 2015. According to the report, the largest increase saw hate crimes targeting the country’s Muslim population increase from 99 incidents in 2014 to 159 incidents in 2015. The total amount of reported hate crimes in that year was 1,362, 67 more than reported in the previous year.
About a week before Statistics Canada’s report was released, the Durham Regional Police put out a press release, which stated, a 47 year-old Oshawa woman was arrested and is facing multiple assault charges for acts the DRPS reported had “targeted Muslims.” Police reported their investigators were in contact with the Ministry of the Attorney General regarding possible hate crime charges.
As Canadians, I think we all should be quick to condemn these dismissive intolerant actions. Personally, I think people should live by the Canadian ideals of equality, respect for cultural differences and peace.
People should not be judged based on their religion, but rather the actions they take as an individual. I believe every person is unique, and should not be thrown into any one category and judged on what people think that category represents.
Especially today, with a President in the United States preaching extreme protectionism with a proposed travel ban, it is important in Canada we are all role models for kindness and tolerance, and give everyone a chance to show us how unique they are as individuals.
A good example of kindness in a small community of North Durham has been how this community has rallied to support Syrian refugee families.
The recent news of hate crimes is unfortunate, but it does not need to be a trend, if we can all learn from it and find a way to make this country an even more welcoming environment than it is presently.