Anti-Immigration Surges In Canada Amid ‘Open Border’ Policies
Hate crimes in Canada have risen by over 200 percent
Canada's open border policies have ignited a backlash against the government from its citizens, and if the hate crimes targeting Muslims is anything to go by, it shows no sign of slowing down.
Hate crimes in Canada have risen by over 200 percent in its most populous province of Ontario in the past year, according to the country's national statistics agency Statistics Canada.
Crimes particularly targeting Muslims grew nationally by 151 percent, while Jewish and black minorities respectively observed a 60 and 50 percent increase in hate crimes.
Quebec also saw a comparable surge, with times more anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in 2017.
According to PressTV: The data revealed that Muslims had been targeted in 349 incidents and had experienced the highest increase of hate-related crimes compared to any other minority.
The data was released on Thursday by Statistics Canada
"The data, while very unsettling for our communities, unfortunately, does not surprise us; 2017 was an immensely difficult year for the Canadian Muslim community," said executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Ihsaan Gardee.
Last year began with a fateful January shooting targeting a Mosque in Quebec City, Quebec, killing six worshipers and wounding many more.
"This new data reveals Islamophobic hate crimes peaked in February 2017, signaling that the shooting very much set the tone for the increase in hate crimes against Muslims for the remainder of the year," said Gardee.
The Muslim director further revealed that "approximately two-thirds of hate crimes are never even reported to police for a variety of reasons including fear of retaliation, shame, and fear of not being believed by the police."
The disturbing reports come amid increased domestic debate about Canada's relatively open immigration policies.
Political debate related to minority communities, specifically Muslims, has also consequently climbed in the country.
In an important development last week, more than a hundred community groups called on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch an initiative for uniting the country against hate crime.
Quebec's recently elected Premier Francois Legault seeks to impose a dubious ban preventing public servants who are "in the position of authority" from wearing religious symbols such as the hijab.
The controversial law, which was criticized by numerous rights organizations, has sparked public protests in the past two months.
A study published by Canada's state-owned Radio Canada earlier this week, however, claimed that over two-thirds of Quebecers currently support the purposed ban.