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Addressing Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Sentiment in Canada

At the peak of this summer’s Anti-Islam rally, more than 4,000 counter protesters swarmed Vancouver City Hall. The organizers and supporters of the Anti-Islam rally were nowhere to be seen and this is how speech and acts of hatred should be met: with strong, decisive, peaceful resistance.

Canadians often operate in a bit of a niceness bubble. We see what is happening in the US with their highly politicized hate speech, the push for anti-Islam legislation and general anti-immigration sentiments. We assume we are mostly exempt despite evidence to the contrary.

In early September, an anti-Muslim heckler interrupted a meet-and-greet with NDP leadership hopeful, Jagmeet Singh. Mr. Singh never corrected the speaker that he was in fact, Sikh and not Muslim. Instead he responded with a call for love and understanding. It was Mr. Singh’s opinion that Islamophobia is at its heart racism and that the correction would only further serve to alienate Muslims.

The YWCA fully condemns the actions of prejudice throughout the world and will continue to draw attention to these issues close at home. We must stand up against hate and racism as individuals, organizations, communities and countries. Canada’s beauty lies in the diversity of our people–all of whom deserve respect, safety and compassion.

We’ve partnered with the Ismaili Centre and University of British Columbia to present an evening of dialogue on the rise of Islamophobia in North America. A keynote will look at the rise of Islamophobia and how it mirrors historical movements of racism and an interfaith panel will discuss how we as communities move forward to achieve a safe equal society for all Canadians.

The path to tolerance and peace is one of understanding. Join the conversation on October 23, 2017. Click here to get tickets or for more event details.


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