Hundreds marched in Toronto today to call for peace after a series of violent anti-Muslim incidents in the city, while Ontario's premier voiced her support for the Muslim community in Ottawa.
Around 200 people turned up for the march, which ends at the elementary school where a Muslim woman was attacked and injured earlier this week. Police at the event vowed to track the men responsible for the attack.
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Marchers carried signs reading "Respect is a Canadian value" and "Intolerance is from the Dark Ages."
The incidents have come in the wake of the ISIS-led attacks in Paris last Friday — an atrocity that many in attendance said has nothing to do with their religion.
"I feel like we're being judged for something we had nothing to do with," Shara Fathima told CBC Toronto while she pushed her stroller as part of the march.
The marcher also said that because she wears the hijab she feels like she's more at risk and the attack on a mother hit especially close to home.
"It could have been me, because I live in the same neighbourhood," Fathima said.
Recently, there have been racist incidents on the TTC and GO Transit, while a U of T student claims he was spat on near campus. Outside of the GTA, a Peterborough mosque was deliberately set ablaze, and a Hindu temple in Kitchener was also vandalized.
Kathleen Wynne meets with victim
Premier Kathleen Wynne, speaking to CBC Radio's Ontario Today in Ottawa, said she met with the woman who was assaulted in Toronto earlier this week.
"Seeing her face to face made it so crystal clear to me what we're dealing with, and it's a very important moment," Wynne said. "It made it very personal."
Wynne also visited the congregation at Ottawa Main Mosque during Friday prayers.
Other Muslim groups also staged public events. At Ryerson University, Muslim students offered up a free pancake breakfast in Yonge-Dundas Square.
Many students also planned to hold Friday prayers outdoors.
City leaders and prominent organizations have all condemned the incidents as well, saying they have no place in Canadian society.
Well spoken participant in today's March against racism. Worth a listen. <a href="https://t.co/8IMIr0UOUc">pic.twitter.com/8IMIr0UOUc</a>—@LindaWardCBC
With files from Linda Ward and Shannon Martin