NCCM ‘deeply concerned’ after death threat to Black Muslim woman in hijab in Edmonton

THE National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) said on Wednesday that it is deeply concerned about a death threat at Edmonton’s Century Park Transit Station last week on February 17 against a Black Muslim woman wearing a hijab.

The NCCM said that the woman, “who will remain anonymous and referred to as M.W., was waiting at the station when a man allegedly approached her, flailing his arms, gestured towards her with a fist, swore at her, and threatened to physically assault and kill her.”

M.W. said: “This incident was traumatizing and has left me shaken. In that moment, I felt helpless and afraid for my life. There was no security around nor did anyone come to my rescue. Though I recognize that the perpetrator may be suffering from his own personal issues, this does not make threats on my life okay. Incidents of racism and Islamophobia are not okay and cannot be cast aside. It requires swift action and clear denunciation from the EPS [Edmonton Police Service] and the Mayor [Don Iveson]. In the aftermath of this horrifying incident, I was assisted by an ETS [Edmonton Transit Service] bus driver and Peace Officers. However, when I contacted the police station in my area, I was not given the support that I needed. I did not know who else to turn to. This is not acceptable and demonstrates a lack of sensitivity towards those who face racism, Islamophobia, and incidents of hate. Eventually, I had to reach out to the councillor’s office in my ward to receive any kind of support.”

Sameha Omer, Director of Legal Affairs with the National Council of Canadian Muslims, noted, “Having spoken with the complainant in this incident, and other victims of recent attacks in Edmonton targeting Muslim women wearing hijab, it is clear that more needs to happen. We need to see EPS take concrete action to address the recent trend of hate-motivated incidents, racism, and Islamophobia, particularly against Black Muslim women, through a clear action plan. This may necessitate a review of internal policies and procedures that deal with the reporting of such incidents and intake by police officers.”