Muslim leaders in Canada’s steel capital of Hamilton, Ontario say some kind of help is urgently needed for children under the age of 10 years who are allegedly subject to raging “Islamophobia,” the CBC reports.
“Young children are finding it difficult in these kinds of instances,” said Affaf Ahtisham, secretary of the Muslim Association of Hamilton. “They’re questioning, ‘Can this happen to me? Why is this happening to us?’ for example.”
What “instances” are they referring to? Well according to a list provided by the CBC, many of the incidents of “Islamophobia” are neither relevant to children nor the city of Hamilton.
- The Quebec City mosque shooting in January;
- President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban on seven scheduled countries, inaccurately deemed a “Muslim ban” by most Canadian media;
- An anti-Muslim rally in Toronto on Feb. 17 where some protesters were almost charged with a hate crime;
- A Feb. 14 attack on a Muslim doctor at Hamilton’s St. Joseph’s Healthcare Centre.
- An arson attempt on Hamilton’s Ibrahim Jame Mosque on Sept. 14, 2016.
- A beating of teenager on Nov. 30, 2016 that left him with a fractured skull.
Though few of these episodes had a direct effect on local Muslims and none involved children under the age of 10, “The elementary school kids are the ones who are most affected,” insists Kamran Bhatti, a Muslim community activist. “The older kids kind of understand. They’re like, ‘you know we’ve been around here awhile, we’ve been victims of racism, we’ve been victims of this type of xenophobia,’ but they don’t feel like anyone is going to come and shoot them.
“Some of these kids are internalizing it and they’re saying, well it this is happening to ordinary Muslims then what about me,” he claimed.
Local imam, Sayed Tora, leader of the Hamilton Downtown Mosque, said the Quebec City tragedy had a particular affect on his 12-year-old daughter.
“The only thing that she would say was that she can’t believe that this is happening here [in Canada],” he told CBC News.
Another Hamilton imam says it’s the long-term “fear and anxiety” that children are said to experience that you have to consider.
“Young people are vulnerable and in a state of developing their perceptions,” said Ayman Al-Taher, who apparently “always” apprehends “a shift” in Muslims between the ages of four and 10 following any incident of “Islamophobia.”