Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Give Hate No Home in Ontario

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Give Hate No Home in Ontario

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Give hate no home in Ontario

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An editorial from the Waterloo Region Record, published Nov. 18:

Ontario is a very big province, but it has no room for hate.

If the message sounds obvious, it must be said, and it must be heard by the fools who would seize upon last week's terrorist attacks in Paris as justification for persecuting religious minorities in this province.

It is sickening to realize that in the few days since 129 innocent lives were lost in France, a Peterborough mosque was torched and a Muslim women wearing a hijab was beaten up by two men in Toronto. Police in both communities are treating the incidents as hate crimes and while many facts remain unknown, the official conclusion seems fair.

Meanwhile, although Waterloo Regional Police have not called the vandalism at the Shri Ram Dham Hindu Temple in Kitchener a hate crime, it is reasonable to at least wonder whether this place of worship was singled out for a deliberate attack because it belonged to a minority religious group. Why did someone feel moved to throw five rocks through the windows at the temple's rear entrance Sunday night? Why just two days after Paris was bloodied by the extremist group known as the Islamic State?

It's impossible to say whether a vandal or vandals simply lashed out indiscriminately or whether anger and confusion led to the targeting of a Hindu temple, even though no member of that religion has been connected to the terrorist attacks in France in any way. Yet what happened should trouble everyone in this region who values its diversity and tolerance.

Each of these criminal acts is serious and must be denounced. They must not be repeated. It could cost $100,000 to repair the Peterborough mosque. Peterborough's Muslim minority -- 1,000 people in a city of 79,000 -- will feel unsettled, perhaps under threat. …

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