Edmonton rally demanding protection for Muslim women draws hundreds

Less than 48 hours after the most recent attack on Muslim women in the Edmonton area hundreds of people attended an anti-hate rally.

An attendee at the anti-hate rally Friday night holds up a sign. The rally comes after a series of hate-motivated attacks against Muslim women in Alberta. (Jamie McCannell/CBC)

Just days after two Muslim women were attacked in St. Albert, hundreds of people attended an anti-hate rally in Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton.

Organizers called on Edmontonians to gather and demand action to protect Muslim women.

Ahmed Ali addresses the crowd of hundreds gathered in Churchill Square. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC)

The St. Albert attack is the latest in an alarming string of incidents, including another attack on a woman wearing a hijab in central Edmonton. 

The attacks have been focused on Muslim women. 

A man and woman both carried signs displaying anti-hate messages at a rally demanding protection for Muslim women . (Jamie McCannell/CBC)

Chants of “make our streets safe!” rang out from the stage as speakers addressed the crowd, which included people from many different backgrounds.

A mother and daughter, both wearing hijabs, embraced as they watched speakers address a crowd of hundreds at an anti-hate rally in Edmonton. (Jamie McCannell/CBC)

Activist Ahmed Ali told the crowd he hoped the rally would help heal those that have been attacked but that they shouldn’t have to gather to fight hate. 

“It is not OK for my sisters to have to worry about walking outside and determining what colour of hijab to wear so they don’t stand out,” Ali said. 

Two young rally attendees show off their signs made for the event. (Tricia Kindleman/CBC)

Amira Shousha, National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Alberta representative, said that extra security precautions were taken to ensure the safety of rally attendees and participants.

“It’s sad that we even have to police officers and peace officers here to ensure that the people who want to speak against injustice are [protected],” Shousha said. 

Shousha said the NCCM would like to see a committee formed to address Islamophobia.

Amira Shousa, one of the organizers of the rally, hopes to continue to educate people on the dangers of Islamaphobia. (Jamie McCannell/CBC)

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