SHAFAQNA- An Alberta Muslim group has started a hotline to help people report incidents of vandalism or discrimination related to Islamophobia.
The Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council launched its new toll-free phone line last week.
Faesal Khan Suri said the hotline was not set up in response to growing problems, but he did point to vandalism at Alberta mosques and an incident at the University of Alberta, where he said he was told someone spit on a young Muslim woman.
“We just want to be proactive,” said Suri, president of AMPAC. “It’s not something that has happened now. But with some Syrian refugees coming in, too, there could be some possible backlashes.”
People who experience Islamophobic incidents in the province can call the hotline at 1-800-607-3312 and leave a message. AMPAC will respond within 24 hours and will be able to direct callers to support agencies, lawyers or the police.
A mosque in Cold Lake was vandalized with graffiti in October 2014 and again in November 2015.
An LRT station in Edmonton and some cars in the neighbouring parking lot were spray painted in December 2015 with racism Islamophobic graffiti.
Two men were arrested in that case, and one of them was charged with a hate crime.