Hateful Graffiti Shows Need to ‘Keep Fighting’, Muslim Association Says

According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):Members of the Jewish and Muslim communities express their distress and sorrow following a string of hate-related graffiti incidents targeting Jews and Arabs. The graffiti, including a swastika and offensive messages such as “hail Hitler” and “KKKanada,” was spotted by CBC reporters on Annabella Street in Winnipeg’s Point Douglas area. The exact date when the graffiti was painted remains unknown.

Youcef Soufi, a consultant with the Manitoba Islamic Association, emphasizes that any form of threat, whether it be graffiti or verbal intimidation, can escalate into more explicit acts of violence. He states that hateful messages like those found on Annabella Street are aimed at marginalized groups who have endured various forms of prejudice.

“We as a society have to fight against … antisemitism, anti-Black racism and anti-Indigenous racism. This is an example of why we need to keep fighting,” he said.

The City of Winnipeg promptly dispatched a crew to remove the graffiti on the same day, confirming its successful eradication.

Soufi mentions that in response to a recent attack on a young Muslim woman employed at an Olive Garden restaurant in Winnipeg, the Islamic Association compiled a report addressing the issue of Islamophobia in Manitoba.

“We don’t have a particular policy to fight vandalism, but the data collected range from overt and threatening forms of Islamophobia to more subtle and pervasive stereotypes of Muslims,” Soufi said.

According to a report by Statistics Canada in 2023, hate crimes reported by the police targeting Jews increased by 47 percent from 2020 (331 incidents) to 2021 (487 incidents). The report also reveals a 71 percent rise in hate crimes targeting Muslims, from 84 incidents in 2020 to 144 incidents in 2021.

Overt display of hatred ‘alarming’

Aasiyah Khan from the National Council of Canadian Muslims expresses her concern over such crimes.

“Although any display of hatred is concerning, it is especially alarming when such displays are overt and public,” she said.

Ruheen Aziz, a board member of the Manitoba Islamic Association, finds it distressing and frightening to know that there are individuals in the province disseminating hateful messages publicly.

“A lot of this can be mitigated by putting in more effort in educating people about similarities and differences of such kinds of hateful rhetoric,” she said.

The city reports an increase in requests for the removal of hate-related graffiti in recent years. This year alone, they have received 189 requests, compared to 169 last year, 163 in 2021, and 106 in 2020.

Source: Agencies

Source: rahyafteha