Following a string of what appear to be hate-fueled attacks on the Muslim community in Ontario, the hashtags “I’ll Ride With You” and “Stand With Muslims TO” have begun trending on Twitter.
“We have now reached double the amount of hate crime reports that we had in 2014,” says Mohamed El Rashidy, Director of the Canadian Arab Federation.
On Wednesday, two woman wearing hijabs were attacked by three people while riding the subway here in town. Earlier this week, a Muslim woman wearing a hijab claimed she was attacked by two men as she went to pick up her children up from school in Flemingdon Park.
GO Transit also had to pull a coach train after it was vandalized with anti-Muslim graffiti. Over this past weekend, the only mosque in Peterborough was set on fire.
The incidents come on the heels of the deadly attacks in Paris, where 129 people were killed in a series of bombings and shootings around the city. ISIL has since claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Minister of Community and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi told Global News says any acts of local hate crime will be investigated, saying, “Those types of crimes will never be tolerated and our police, of course, take these matters very seriously and investigate them.”
Toronto Chief Mark Saunders echoed similar statements, saying “It is a big deal and if there is a criminal offence we will investigate and we will lay charges if we get enough evidence to do just that.”
#StandWithMuslimsTO because all my Muslim friends are lovely people and do not fit the racist profiles they have been unjustly given.
— Jessica Myshrall (@YouveReachedJes) November 20, 2015
the majority of muslim people prolly feel the same way the majority of christians feel about westboro baptist church #StandWithMuslimsTO
— jared (@jheezejared) November 20, 2015
I’ll be on the Lakeshore West going West Saturday morning. Need a safety buddy? #illridewithyou
— Dee (@EllaCatticus) November 19, 2015
Hey students, I go from lakeshore to St George campus most days. If you’d like a woman to commute with, #illridewithyou
— literally eeyore (@nebulousy) November 19, 2015