Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is urging Canadians not to turn to “acts of hatred and racism” in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.
The statement comes after a series of hate crimes that targeted places of worship as well as a Muslim woman in Canada.
“I have noted with deep regret a number of highly disturbing acts aimed at certain Canadians, including the fire at the mosque in Peterborough, the smashing of windows at a Hindu temple in Kitchener, and the attack on a Muslim woman in Toronto,” Trudeau said in a statement released Wednesday.
Trudeau made appeal from Manila while he and other cabinet ministers were attending the APEC meetings.
“Diversity is Canada’s strength. These vicious and senseless acts of intolerance have no place in our country and run absolutely contrary to Canadian values of pluralism and acceptance,” he said.
The statement comes after police in several Canadian cities have opened investigations into alleged hate crimes and racist incidents.
In Toronto, a woman wearing a hijab was attacked on Monday afternoon while trying to pick her son up after school and in a nearby neighbourhood the words “Muslims Go Home” were scrawled along the white wall of a large apartment complex.
A mosque was torched in Peterborough, Ont., on Sunday and a Hindu temple in Kitchener, Ont., had their windows smashed.
On Wednesday, police in Montreal arrested a 24-year-old in connection to an anti-Muslim Youtube video where a man wearing a Joker mask and promised to “kill one Arab a week.”
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) have condemned the hate-driven incidents and warned Muslim communities about the potential for a backlash over misplaced anti-Muslim sentiments after the Paris attacks.
“Such hateful and cowardly acts are abhorrent to all Canadians who stand united in condemning xenophobia and hatred,” NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee said in a news release.
“These hateful incidents in Peterborough and Toronto proved to be completely contradictory to Canadian values,” the group said in a statement.
Trudeau also vowed the Liberal government and police would work to protect the victims’ rights, and urged Canadians to focus on unity in the face of global terrorism threats.
“Our focus must be on stopping the people responsible for the terror, and continuing to fight hate by embracing Canadian values,” he said.