Statement by Member of Parliament Salma Zahid – Scarborough Centre
I wish to condemn in the strongest possible terms the horrific act of terror on peaceful Muslim worshippers at two Mosques in New Zealand. My heart and my prayers, and those of my family, are with the victims and their families.
For many, this will bring up memories of the tragedy in Quebec City, wounds which are still all too fresh for many in this community. While we grieve, we must remain resilient.
We must not hesitate to call this what it is: it is an act of terrorism, and an act of Islamophobia. And we must condemn it fully.
We must work harder to stamp out the rising tide of hatred and intolerance we’re seeing at home, and globally. We as leaders must examine our own actions, our own rhetoric, that may feed intolerance. We must not pander to the fringes. And we must keep the faith; especially in one another.
I want to reassure the people of Scarborough that we are safe. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirms the threat level in Canada remains unchanged at “medium” and there is no known Nexus to Canada.
I have spoken with 41 Division of the Toronto Police Service and they have assured me that people should feel safe to attend Friday prayers. The police are increasing their presence and will be making increased rounds around places of worship.
I have also spoken with the Prime Minister, and he asked me to reassure the community that he, and all Canadians, are standing with us in solidarity in speaking out against hatred and terror.
I would also like to note that our government has the Communities at Risk: Security Infrastructure Program, which supports the implementation of projects to help communities with a demonstrated history of being victimized by hate-motivated crime through the enhancement of their security infrastructure. In Scarborough Centre, the Scarborough Muslim Association received $56,451.35 from this program in February 2017 and the Al-Huda Muslim Society received $63,598.80 in June 17, to fund upgrades to their security infrastructure.
I will be attending Friday prayers at the Scarborough Muslim Association today, and I encourage all in the community to join me. We cannot allow those who seek to spread terror and hate change how we live our lives.
Community members with any concerns or questions are encouraged to call my community office at (416) 752-2358, visit us at 5-2155 Lawrence Avenue East, or e-mail Salma.Zahid@parl.gc.ca