Someone Sent A Muslim Woman In Ottawa A Note Saying “Canada Is No Place For Immigrants Or Terrorists. "

    Eren Cervantes-Altamirano wants people to know "this is not only an attitude against Muslims."

    Eren Cervantes-Altamirano went to check her mail this morning and discovered an anonymous note that said, "Canada is no place for immigrants or terrorists. Go back home."

    Eren Cervantes-Altamirano

    "Of course you get a sense of feeling kind of unsafe," she told BuzzFeed Canada.

    Cervantes-Altamirano is a Muslim convert who grew up in Mexico and lived in Edmonton for seven years before moving to Ottawa. She works for the federal government and is pursuing a masters degree at Carleton University.

    Her mailbox is located outside her apartment building and is unlocked, which means anyone can access it.

    Cervantes-Altamirano said she contacted Ottawa Police, but "it's treated as a non-emergency so they are coming later today to talk about the note."

    "I can't tell you I’m particularly surprised [by the letter]," she said. "I’m one of the very few visible minorities that live in my area. I don’t wear hijab but I’m still obviously a visible minority."

    Since the Paris attacks, there has been a rash of anti-Muslim incidents in Canada, including the arson of a moqsue in Peteroborough, an attack on a Muslim woman in Toronto, a break-in at a Calgary mosque, and a video from a Montreal man who said he wanted to kill one "Arab" per week in the province. A hindu temple in Kitchener also had its windows smashed.

    Cervantes-Altamirano said even before she received the letter she was encouraging friends who are people of colour to stay in touch with her via social media let each other know they're safe.

    "I think that one of the things that's important to know is this is not only an attitude against Muslims," she said. "Right now, we're just the flavour of the day. This has been going on to a lot of people for a long time."

    "I'm doing a masters and a lot of my work has to do with indigenous women, whether in Canada or Mexico, but this has been our experience for the past 500 years," Cervantes-Altamirano said.

    Many people have reached out to her on Twitter and on Facebook to denounce the letter and to say things such as, "This doesn't represent my Canada."

    "I appreciate people trying to tell me 'This is not my Canada,'" she said. "But I'm sorry — Canada was founded on this very premise. You might not feel that way and that's good, but you need to acknowledge that Canada is founded on the notion of racism and exclusion of people of colour."

    Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

    Contact Craig Silverman at

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