Anti-Muslim incidents constitute largest segment of hate crimes in Peel Region.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties and advocacy organization, is deeply concerned by a new report submitted to the Peel Police Services Board on hate-motivated crime today. The report reveals a 168% increase in police-reported hate crimes from 2016 to 2017, the majority of which were motivated by anti-religious bigotry.
For Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM), let’s raise awareness about Islamophobically-motivated sexual assault, and all forms of sexual violence Muslim women face.
Muslim women are most often the targets of Islamophobic violence in North America and Europe, with visibly Muslim women – women who wear hijab and/or niqab – being particularly vulnerable. Black Muslim women also face heightened vulnerability to Islamophobic violence, because of the combined effect of anti-Black racism and Islamophobia.
When we think about Islamophobic violence against Muslim women, we often picture a woman being yelled at to “go back to where you came from” or even physically attacked. What’s been missing from the conversation however is the fact that Islamophobic violence can take the form of sexual assault.
Over the past year, I conducted research interviews with 21 Muslim women survivors of Islamophobic violence in Toronto and its surrounding regions. Throughout these interviews, Muslim women of all ages told me about being verbally harassed, threatened, and physically attacked. Importantly, some of them also told me about incidents of Islamophobically-motivated sexual assault.