FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2017
HAMILTON – The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI) stands in solidarity with members of the Centre culturel islamique de Québec in condemning the horrific fatal attacks on worshippers at its Masjid on Sunday night in Québec city.
This incident is a reminder that attacks against religious minorities and within diverse communities continue in Canada against the complex backdrop of intolerance and hate.
HCCI is committed to addressing issues of racial discrimination, harassment and xenophobia in Hamilton and wishes to extend its support to Hamilton’s Muslim community during this difficult and painful time.
“It is with great sorrow that we learn of the senseless attacks on members of the Muslim community in Québec. Racism and xenophobia have no place in our public discourse and our civic leaders should denounce acts of violence motivated by hate,” said Milé Komlen, Chair of HCCI’s Governing Council.
The Quebec City attack on a religious place of worship serves as a chilling reminder of Hamilton’s own episode of religious hatred in 2001 when the Hindu Samaj Temple on Hamilton Mountain was vandalized by arson four days after the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. Investigators determined it had been a case of arson in what police would conclude was a hate crime — and the arsonists had likely confused the temple with a mosque. The subjects were captured by Hamilton Police Service 12 years later and were criminally convicted.
Following the attack of the Hindu Samaj Temple, the Hamilton community mobilized to denounce hate and articulate the type of community we wanted to be. With the slogan that “An attack on one is an attack on us all”, then-Mayor Bob Wade called members of the community together to establish the Strengthening Hamilton Community Initiative, which eventually became the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion.
HCCI continues to be a hub for diversity issues in Hamilton and its surrounding region, and provides training and advocacy on human rights and inclusion. HCCI is working collaboratively with the City of Hamilton and McMaster University to launch the Anti-Racism Resource Centre in 2017, a pilot project approved by City Council to provide intake and referral services for Hamilton residents on issues of racial discrimination and harassment.
HCCI also works with other partner agencies in Hamilton on a wide range of issues to promote civic inclusion, including the provision of support services in the settlement and integration of newcomers and refugees in Hamilton.
– 30 –
For more information or to arrange an interview with Milé Komlen, Chair of the Governing Council for the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, call 905-297-4694 x 202.
Program Manager, HCCI
140 King Street East,
Main floor, Unit 20
Hamilton, ON, L8N 1B2
Phone: 905-297-4694 x 202