Vancouver’s Muslim, Jewish communities boost security, drills amid hate-crime spike

Vancouver’s Jewish and Muslim communities are increasing security measures and communication with police amidst growing concerns about the rise in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crime.

“The North American Jewish community feels more vulnerable today than it has in generations,” says Nico Slobinsky, the regional director of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

At a recent presentation at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver, Slobinsky noted Canada is “not immune” to global trends of anti-Semitism, noting that based on Statistics Canada data, an anti-Semitic incident was reported to police every 24 hours in Canada in 2017.

That data shows the number of hate crimes increased by 47 per cent from 2014 to 2017, a change felt also in Vancouver, where Jews and Muslims were the most common targets.

Musa Ismail, a longtime Muslim community leader, says it’s part of a global phenomenon of attacks against holy sites, like recent shootings at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand and at a synagogue in San Diego.

“We are all being attacked. There are churches being attacked. My Jewish brothers are being attacked,” he says.

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