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“Facebook needs to really regulate that and they need to regulate white supremacy on posts as well,” he said. “You see these comments, it’s just disgusting. I wouldn’t accept these forms of racist or vicious comments from any person with any belief.”

Sheikh said he sees people finding quotes in the Quran, posting them online without context, and making judgments. To stop this, Muslims in B.C. could take a proactive approach through “da’wah,” which is a practice of inviting people to understand Islam, he said.

Mohammed Imtiaz Asin, vice-president of youth development for the B.C. Muslim Association. Photo by Submitted

He believes media and politicians must stop dragging their feet before using the word “terrorism” to describe deadly rampages that target Muslims. He also wants journalists who foment Islamophobia to be called out and held accountable.

“They do play a crucial role in activating these thoughts into people,” he said. “We need to be careful.”

Sheikh’s colleague, Mohammed Imtiaz Asin, vice-president of youth development for the association, said it’s important to have support networks after atrocities.

But to be proactive, the 35-year-old Asin believes Muslim and non-Muslim youth need to work to learn more about each other. They’ll soon realize that despite their differences, they share plenty in common, he added.

“Personally, when people fear things, most of the time it’s because they don’t understand them,” Asin said.

Last month, the inaugural Open Mosque Day B.C. was held across the province, but Asin wants people who have questions about Islam to know they are welcome any day of the year.

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