TORONTO — Smashed mosque windows and workers losing their jobs because of their ethnic background are among the signs that anti-Arab sentiment is on the rise in Ontario, the Ontario Human Rights Commission said yesterday.
Chief commissioner Barbara Hall expressed dismay at an increase in “Islamophobia” in Ontario as she released the commission’s annual report at the Ontario legislature.
“We continue to hear . . . from Arab and Muslim communities on increasing incidents of discrimination,” Hall said.
“We know from events around the world and . . . at home that tensions between groups can quickly become much bigger problems.”
Chief among Hall’s concerns was an attack on a Toronto mosque by vandals just two days after police arrested 12 men and five youths earlier this month who were allegedly planning to stage a series of terrorist attacks throughout southern Ontario.
Hall also cited a group of cases in which complainants with dual citizenship from countries other than the United States claimed they were discriminated against by employees at a company that makes defence equipment for several countries, including the U.S.