A child beaten up on a school bus by other kids who told him he would grow up to be a terrorist, is one of the disturbing stories of racism in Calgary.
It’s one of the many emerging as minority groups welcome the province’s move to establish an anti-racism strategy.
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi is the head of Think for Actions, a Calgary-based think tank that’s completed several surveys on racism.
Dr. Zaidi says fear in the community is growing.
“The community now is more afraid than ever because before there was only conversations against Islam and Muslims and now there are more organized rallies and there are now organized groups which are armed and have clear intent of harming Muslims and mosques,” says Zaidi.
He says children are also being affected, referring to a recent incident on a city school bus where a Muslim child was physically hurt.
Zaidi says others told the boy he would grow up to be a terrorist but when he denied it, he was beaten up.
Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has been tasked to hold public consultations over the next few months to develop a new anti-racism initiative.