A prayer meeting is being held in Saskatoon Tuesday night to honour the victims of the deadly attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont.
“We need to have the courage to call the spade a spade. We need to say, you know, this is not a one-off situation,” said Daniel Kuhlen with the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan.
The association said Islamophobia has gotten worse in the province over the years.
In 2018 a Muslim man walking home from a mosque in Saskatoon was nearly hit by a truck and had bricks thrown through his home window.
The association said hate toward the Muslim community has gotten worse since then.
The University of Saskatchewan’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) tried holding an online memorial earlier this year remembering the 2017 mosque shooting in Quebec.
“We had a lot of unidentified people joining and having Islamophobic and racist words to say,” said president Abdirahman Ali.
He said it’s important attacks on Muslim people be taken seriously by the public, and law enforcement, to send a message that this kind of hate isn’t OK.
“Things just don’t happen in a vacuum,” he said.
“Someone doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to run over people. It takes a lot of hatred to build inside that person for them to do that.”
Ali said he’s worried about his own family in the wake of the London attack.
“I was actually telling my family members and my sisters ‘just be careful, even if the walk sign is on, don’t rely on that because things are getting crazy now,'” he said.
“Protect yourself and take precautions.”
Kuhlen said it’s important for Canadians to examine their own attitudes toward Muslims and to not “fall into that trap of deep unexamined hatred and intolerance.”
The prayer meeting for the victims of the London, Ont., attack will be at 7:15 p.m. at the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan’s Islamic Centre.