CALGARY -- Groups representing religious and racialized Calgarians are pushing for more to be done in what appears to be an increase in racist and hateful symbolism in Alberta.

"We need Calgarians of all stripes to be calling this out. We need government and law enforcement standing up to this and saying 'it's not okay'," said Jared Shore with the Calgary Jewish Federation.

"We're seeing this hatred against the Asian community, against the Muslim community. It is all wrong."

The group says there has been a growing number of reports in the last several months of hate-motivated imagery across the province.

He said there have been reports of people comparing the public health measures to the Holocaust.

"A public health response to the systematic murder of six million people should be plain and obvious to everyone as being a totally inappropriate, inaccurate comparison," Shore said.

Motion to denounce hateful symbolism

NDP MLA Thomas Dang has brought forth a motion to officially denounce racist and hateful symbolism, and he's urging the government to ban that imagery in public spaces.

"We've seen multiple demonstrations in recent weeks that are being held under the guise of protesting COVID-19 restrictions but are actually being used to spread hate and to terrorize people in their own communities," Dang said Monday.

He pointed to recent protests in Edmonton and Calgary in which some of the people marching carried tiki torches, which have a connection to a deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

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Dang also told reporters attacks on Muslim women and girls in Edmonton and Calgary are another example of why the government needs to take a strong stance on hateful symbolism.

"I'd argue that the brazen nature of these attacks are being spurred by general acceptance of hate symbols at demonstrations," he said.

A discussion on Dang's motion occurred in the legislature late Monday afternoon, though the vote will proceed in the coming weeks. Dang suggested the UCP was delaying the vote on his motion by instead talking about a proposal to make rodeo Alberta's provincial sport. The government says it was following legislative procedure on the timing allowed for motions from private members. The anti-racism motion will be discussed on another day.

(This story has been updated to clarify that discussion on the anti-racism motion took place in the legislature on Monday, though the vote on the motion will happen at a later date.)