April 15, 2023. Calgary, AB
The rise of Islamophobia in Canada is the legacy of Conservative party led by Stephen Harper: Bill S7 & Bill C75, and active racist Quebec legislatures Bill 21. Furthermore, Islamophobia is fueled by Canadian biased foreign policy.
“We request the government to bring stronger legislation to prevent on anti-Muslim rhetoric / Muslim phobia / Islamophobia. As under the banner of free speech politicians and other groups have been demonizing Muslims and Islam that leads to loss of life and property of Canadian Muslims.” Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank.
The recent rise of Islamophobic incident in Canada is alarming:
#1. Vandalism at Towfiq Islamic Centre: March 31. Worshippers attending Toronto’s Towfiq Islamic Centre identified hateful messages sprayed in red, defacing the front of the mosque. Among the messages was, “Allah is a lie.”
#2. Harassment and Vandalism at Montreal Mosque: April 9. A man entered a Montreal Mosque, shattered its windows with a metal shovel, then followed a congregant with the same shovel uttering verbal threats as the congregant ran for his safety.
#3. Violent Threats at Markham Mosque: April 9. A man intruded into the Islamic Society of Markham, began yelling Islamophobic slurs, and then tried to attack congregants with his vehicle.
#4. Harassment at Scarborough Mosque:The same person also harassed worshippers in a Scarborough Mosque two weeks prior.
#5. Muslim women held at Gunpoint in Kitchener, ON: April 12. Two Muslim women were held at gunpoint while on their way from the mosque in the morning, in Kitchener, Ontario. The suspect seemed to have been recording the incident.
#6. Harassment at Richmond Hill Mosque: April 11. A man used his vehicle to block worshippers from entering a mosque in the Markham/Richmond Hill area. He was also yelling hateful slurs while getting out of his car to physically accost congregants.
Canada has also seen a rise in right-wing extremist groups: Canadian Combat Coalition (C3) Worldwide Coalition Against Islam (WCAI), Guardians of Alberta (GOA) who are a split of the anti-immigrant and Islamophobic group the Soldiers of Odin (SOO) and finally, the National Advancement Party of Canada (NAPC). The new Conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre openly supported far right leader Pat King in Ottawa in April 2022.
Canadian national and provincial legislatures have increased racism and discrimination by providing futile grounds to white nationalism, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacists. Canadian Muslims have had their fair share of provincial and federal bills discriminating against them:
- Bill C 24: Dual citizenship act. June 20th, 2014
- Bill S7: Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, November 5, 2014
- Bill C 51: Anti-terrorism Act. Jan 16, 2015
- 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
- Conservative Opposition to Motion 103 presented on March 23, 2017, condemning Islamophobia
- Bill 21: ‘An Act Respecting Laicity of the State’, April 16, 2019
Canadian foreign policy that does not challenge Islamophobia:
- Israeli police On April 5, 2023, in the early hours of the morning broke into the Al-Qibli prayer hall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque brutally beating Hundreds of Palestinian worshippers including women, children, and elderly. Who were staying overnight in the mosque to pray. Furthermore, during the attack, Israeli police destroyed a health clinic and blocked paramedics from accessing the injured. These attacks follow repeated violence on Al-Aqsa in 2021 & 2022.
- For 75 years Canada has been supporting Israel’s:
- Colonial Practices of Forced Displacement; Ethnic Cleansing; Genocide; Apartheid; Torture; & Occupation.
- Ultra-Right wing Jewish Extremism and Jewish Fascism: Bezalel Smotrich & Itamar Ben-Gvir
- Verbal Physical, & Sexual Abuse of Palestinian Children.
- State sponsored terrorism backed by the IDF in supporting Ultra-right wing Jewish illegal Israeli settlers in illegal outposts to carry out terrorist activities in the Occupied West Bank.
- Canada not protesting the destruction, desecration and burning of Masajids and killing Muslims and minorities in India. This is because of the rise of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that is an Indian Ultra right-wing Hindu nationalist group and its political ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the butcher of Gujarat Narendra Modi. RSS has its international branch / affiliate Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS). RSS and HSS are now gaining ground in Canada as well.
Canadian Community Engagement Study 2018 concludes:
- 2/3rd of Canadians believe that the atmosphere towards Muslims in Canada is negative
- 2/3rd of Canadians want the government to invest resources towards reducing and eventually eliminating systemic racism and discrimination on religious grounds;
- 2/3 of Muslims have personally experienced discrimination due to their race or ethnicity in the last 5 years; almost 1/2 of the incidents were verbal abuse or attack.
- 82% Muslims believe that discrimination against Canadian Muslims has increased in the last 5 years.
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).
Dr. Zaidi also said, “Islam, like other religions, does not teach terrorism. The Quran itself says, whoever kills an innocent life it is as if he has killed all of humanity [5:32]. Canadian Muslims are peaceful citizens who love this nation. Our leaders consistently condemn terrorist attacks. And now it’s time we condemn anti-Muslim rhetoric.” And Dr. Zaidi further added, “Sound research, open dialogue, and discussion will challenge ignorance by addressing fear, Appointment of Collin May will increase racism and discrimination by providing futile grounds to white nationalism, Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the rise of RSS on Canadian soil.
Write today to the Canadian leaders today:
“Canadian leaders need to make a meaningful effort to address Islamophobia as they have addressed anti-Semitism. We should not have double standards, treat all religions equally. Furthermore, our foreign policy should be based on human rights and not to ignore human rights violations and Islamophobia in Israel and India”.
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau: email@example.com
Pierre Poilievre: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jagmeet Singh Jagmeet.Singh@parl.gc.ca
Foreign Minister Melanie Joly email@example.com
For further information and comments please contact:
Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank.
587 890 8321, firstname.lastname@example.org