Think For Actions; a research group and Think Tank attempts to address the rise of Islamophobia and division amongst Canadians.
By Dr Mukarram Zaidi and Bahir Faqiri
Hate crimes against Muslims in Canada have increased by 61%; from 99 reported incidents in 2014 to 159 in 2015 (Statistic Canada). Terrorism and hate crimes are condemned by the majority of Muslims and non-Muslims, regardless of who they are being inflicted upon or whom they are by.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge. Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
“Terrorism does not have a religion or ethnicity, it’s just a state of mind where they would take the life of an innocent person”
Dr Mukarram Zaidi, Chairman of Think For Actions
Here’s how Think For Actions plans on addressing the issue:
The Canadian Community Engagement Study
The study is being undertaken to understand the level of communication between Canadian Muslims and Canadians at large. Subsequently, the survey also aims to understand how Canadians perceive their fellow Canadian Muslims and vice versa. We can then draw on these responses in an effort to formulate a level of understanding about public opinion.
All Canadians 18 years and older can complete the survey online at: https://thinkforactions.com/cces/survey/
Results that lead to positive change is the main objective, however, listed below are several other goals that will be achieved with this study:
Objective and Outcome of the Study
- Assess the communication gap between Canadians Muslims and Canadians at large;
- Find areas where communication and understanding can be improved;
- Identify ways to help promote education and dialogue between Canadians;
- Open communication channels so that people are comfortable asking questions about sensitive issues;
- Assist policy makers in gaining insight into the diversity of public opinion
- Identify and address fear and hate towards Islam and Muslims in Canada;
- Work with institutions, organizations, and policy makers in creating a stronger and safer Canada.
The survey is designed as a non-discriminative snowball sampling approach. This sampling technique is often used in hidden populations which are difficult for researchers to access. Snowball sampling is a non-probability sampling technique, insights from the research can be used to inform future, more in-depth research efforts.
Survey Design and Collaboration
Think For Actions is a Calgary-based non-profit organization and Think Tank, focused on professional development of youth and has established a research institute on community affairs. The organization aims to engage the public at a local and national level, and offer new and effective solutions. With the collaboration of Insights Matter, a Calgary-based market research firm, a short survey taking approximately 5 minutes to complete has been created. Responses are confidential, anonymous, and collected by Think for Actions who will independently aggregate and analyse the data. Individual data is not tracked.
The study is a collaboration of Think For Actions with, Insights Matter, Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Faith & Spirituality Centre at the University of Calgary, College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Westlife Church, York University, Immigration Research West/ Recherche ouest en Immigration, Syrian Refugee Support Group Calgary, Islamic Information Society of Calgary and the RCMP. The study staff includes nine researchers, eleven advisors and nineteen students.
THE UNITY CONFERENCE 2017, Stronger together – Strength in Diversity
The analysed results from the survey will be shared at The Unity Conference on September 16th, 2017 at University of Calgary
Guest Speaker Sessions: (requested)
- The Right Honorable Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau
- Premier of Alberta Honorable Premier Rachel Notley
- Your Worship Mayor Nenshi
- Chief Constable Roger Chaffin
- Deputy Commissioner Marianne
- CBE chief superintendent David Stevenson
Goals and Objectives of the Conference
Short Term Goals
- To deconstruct Islamophobia / Discrimination and prejudice towards Muslims / alienation.
- Showcasing challenges faced by youth and parents due to prejudice and discrimination that leads to and exacerbates Islamophobia.
- Educating Canadian institutions on the roots, effects, and remedies to discrimination and marginalization.
- To establish relationships with various levels of government for future programs.
- To serve as a forum that enables an exchange of ideas, expertise, research, and experience.
- To transform research into practical steps to normalize the status of the Canadian Muslim community.
Long Term Goals
- To create a network and platform for researchers, scholars, and intellectuals.
- To inspire youth to write and engage in research.
- To become an international voice for Muslims researchers in North America.
- To bring about change by prevention, education, and intervention.
Working together we can achieve these goals and here is how you can help. Please fill out and share this survey online at:
Think For Actions is a Calgary-based non-profit organization and Think Tank, focused on professional development of youth and has established a research institute on community affairs. The organization aims to engage the public at a local and national level, and offer new and effective solutions. The organization has established the Muqarnas Press through which it will publish The Western Minaret, a social sciences journal, and The Platform Project, a monthly online magazine.
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