An Alberta Muslim group is speaking out against a racist letter received at an Edmonton mosque last month.
The letter, delivered to Markaz Ul Islam Mosque, urges the mosque to “close down your fake worship house and leave or accept Jesus as your one true God.”
It tells Muslims they are guests in Canada and warns them not to “overstay your welcome.”
The Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council redacted some of the most inflammatory phrases in the letter before sharing it on social media, expressing shock at its “flagrant display of white supremacy.”
A spokesperson for the Edmonton Police Service said the Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit is investigating the letter, but had no further information.
The letter isn’t signed but includes two logos, for the United Conservative Party and The Clann, a group that appears to have recently rebranded itself from the Wolves of Odin. The URL on The Clann’s Facebook page still uses the words “Odin’s Heathens.”
This is the latest in a series of incidents designed to intimidate Muslims in Alberta, according to AMPAC.
“It’s getting a little ridiculous now,” president Faisal Suri said.
“Sometimes we take some humour into it,” he said. “A lot of us were born and raised in Canada, myself included. It’s always humorous to see such language. We are very much part of this society, this Canadian fabric that we live in.
“We are where we’re from.”
The letter promises that “premier to be Jason Kenney is going to take Alberta back,” and offers a warning: “adapt if you want to stay.”
When contacted for a reaction, a spokesperson for the UCP, which is lead by Kenney, directed 630 CHED to a statement tweeted by the party.
“The UCP and Jason Kenney have been clear in denouncing this hatred and bigotry,” it reads. “This hateful note is in no way authorized or associated with the UCP (anyone can unfortunately paste an image into a document).”
“The UCP was founded on the principles of ‘the rule of law, equality of all before the law, and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all’ and ‘a robust civil society made up of free individuals, strong families, and voluntary associations,’” the statement continues.
Kenney himself also denounced the letter.
“This hatred and bigotry has no place in our Alberta,” he tweeted. “All Albertans must be free to practice their faith in peace.”
“To the ignorant fool who sent this letter, you’d best look at my longstanding work in pluralistic outreach, including to Muslims.”
Kenney later posted a longer statement on his Facebook page. Scroll down to read it in full.
As of Wednesday morning, AMPAC’s Facebook post about the letter had been shared more than 630 times. Suri said the support shows the majority of Canadians don’t share the letter’s views.
“We have the full support of this city, of the province, of the country itself and that’s been shown time and time again,” he said.
“The time that we had the Quebec shootings, the time that we had the downtown attack on Jasper Ave, this city, this province is very resilient and unequivocally everyone condemns such language and such hate.”
Jason Kenney’s full statement:
“Let me be perfectly clear: This hatred and bigotry has no place in our Alberta. All Albertans must be free to practice their faith in peace.
To the ignorant fool who sent this letter, you’d best look at my longstanding and ongoing work in pluralistic outreach, including all races, religions and creeds. I have no intention of changing that work.
If you’re willing to work hard, care about getting our province back on track for all Albertans, and support free enterprise principles, then the UCP welcomes you. If you want to spread hate and division, you have no place in this party and never will.
This letter of course has absolutely nothing to do with the UCP. I think it’s clear that there is a small group of social miscreants taking it upon themselves to do this.
In fact, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if the UCP logo was deliberately used in this letter in order to smear our big tent, tolerant party.
In closing, I’d remind you of the principles of our united party, as stated in our founding document (https://tinyurl.com/y96l7bya):
“The United Conservative Party will be guided by the following principles: The rule of law, equality of all before the law, and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all” and “a robust civil society made up of free individuals, strong families, and voluntary associations.”
Premier Rachel Notley also issued a statement:
“On behalf of all Albertans, I strongly condemn the acts of racism and Islamophobia we’ve seen recently directed at our Muslim friends and neighbours here in Alberta. Racism and hate is not welcome here in Alberta and I’m going to continue to fight to ensure all Albertans feel safe and welcome. In response to the hate incident at the Markaz Ul Islam mosque, the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council has called on Jason Kenney to clearly and unequivocally reject white supremacy, to stop sending mixed signals to the Muslim community, and recognize the fact that Islamophobia exists.
“While Jason Kenney has said there’s no place for hatred in his party racists and extremists clearly feel welcome with them. As such, in the interests of pushing back against the presence of hate in our province, Mr. Kenney has an elected obligation to personally condemn these values and to also take concrete actions to evict these factions from the UCP. The fight against hate and racism is not an event – it is a process. And it must never stop.
“This is a leadership moment for Mr. Kenney and a test of his character. I’m joining AMPAC and Albertans to say no more mixed signals, no more dog whistles, no more defending racist candidates and policies. It’s time to clearly condemn Islamophobia and stand with us to fight back against this spreading racism and intolerance”