Gross negligence by CMAJ in promoting Islamophobia

Press Release
December 22, 2021. Calgary, AB

Gross negligence by CMAJ in promoting Islamophobia

Dr Sherif Emil on December 2021 wrote an article titled “Don’t use an instrument of oppression as a symbol of diversity and inclusion”. This article was brought to my attention by my student, who is a Canadian Muslim. She was upset, she felt insulted, marginalized, infuriated and a target of open racism and stereotype by The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). As a practising Canadian Muslim and a member of CMA I felt hurt and upset, I never expected a CMAJ to publish hateful stereotype further dehumanizing Muslim community, especially infuriating vulnerable Canadian Muslims leading them to further hate crimes. Here is a link to the article:

This article comes in days after implementation of Bill 21, a bill that has profoundly affected the Canadian Muslim community. Muslim educators like Fatemeh Anvari, an elementary school teacher at Chelsea Elementary School, located in Quebec are not be able to continue to teach as she/they wear a hijabs. This is just one of the hundreds of such incidents infringing on our right of freedom of religion and expression.

On April 16, 2019, Coalition Avenir de Quebec (CAQ) passed Bill 21, ‘An Act Respecting Laicity of the State’. This secularism bill left minorities, especially Muslim females, as second-class citizens. The bill proposed to ban the wearing of the hijab, kippah, and turban for public servants which included teachers, school administrators, Crown lawyers, police officers, correctional officers, and others.

Canadian Muslims have had their fair share of provincial and federal bills discriminating against them:

  • Bill S7: Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, November 5, 2014
  • Bill C75: The Hijab Ban at Oath Taking Ceremony, June 19, 2015
  • Bill 62: An Act to Foster Adherence to State Religious Neutrality, October 18, 2017
  • Opposition to Motion 103 presented on March 23, 2017, condemning Islamophobias

Hate crimes targeting Canadian Muslims increased by 151% in 2017.  The data released by Statistics Canada on November 18, 2018, indicated a significant increase in hate crimes against most ethnic, religious, and other minority groups.  Years, Canadians are still reeling from the terrorist attack in Quebec that claimed six lives and injured 19 others when Alexandre Bissonnette opened fire on worshipers in a Quebec City Mosque on January 29, 2017. in London Ontario on June 6, 2021, a Muslim family of five were targeted in a fatal hit-and-run while out for a walk, killing four and injuring one of the family members. Terror attacks by Muslims receive 357% more press, however terrorist attacks committed by non-Muslims (or where the religion was unknown), received an average of 15 headlines, whereas those committed by Muslim extremists received 105 headlines, research by the University of Alabama has stated. (The findings are based on all terrorist attacks in the US between 2006 and 2015).

      “Canadian Muslim Research Thinktank (CMRTT) is deeply disappointed in CMAJ for publishing an article that openly marginalizes Canadian Muslims and stereotype’s their religious attire. A Hijab is a Muslim garment used to cover an individual’s head for modesty. “CMAJ should have oversight with input from practising Canadian Muslims to prevent such incidents in the future”, said Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, chairman of CMRTT. “These kinds of articles increase racism and discrimination by providing futile grounds to white nationalism, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacists”.

For further information and comments please contact:
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi,
Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank,
587 890 8321,