Halifax – Members of the Muslim community in Halifax fear they could become the targets of anti-Muslim actions after last weeks attacks in Paris.
“People feel scared for backlash,” said Adam Esse, Imam at the Nova Scotia Islamic Community Centre Mosque
Esse is taking extra security precautions after the deadly attacks last week and subsequent vandalism of a mosque in Peterborough, Ontario Saturday. His mosque will now be attended 24 hours a day.
Imam Adam Esse stands in front of The Nova Scotia Islamic Community Centre Mosque Dave Squires/Global News
Imam Adam Esse stands in front of The Nova Scotia Islamic Community Centre Mosque
Dave Squires/Global News
He says he has also asked Halifax Regional Police to increase their presence around Islamic centers in Halifax.
“It is an emotional time and there are some people, always, some people take advantage and do evil things,” Esse told Global News.
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Abdelkader Tayebi, Imam at the Ummah Mosque and Community Center says backlash against Muslim communities is nothing new.
“It’s something to be expected with an incident of this size and scope.”
He encourages members of the community not to fear, saying that the people and their religion are not responsible for the attacks in Paris.
“We had nothing to do with what happened as a Muslim community or as a Islam religion. These people are representing themselves as criminals and murderers,” Tayebi said.
“No person of reasons and no person of Canadian values should make any connection between what happened in Paris and Islam and the Muslim community in Canada.”
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Esse agrees, saying the Muslim community in Halifax should not feel guilty or apologize for the violence of others, but he is still encouraging caution to the members of his mosque.
“Be vigilant, nice with other people explain to them your position and that you are one of them. We hope the best but prepare for some evil to come by some not law abiding people,” he said.