Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

STOP ISLAMOPHOBIA

Posted by strattof on January 19, 2017

DEFINITION

Islamophobia, also known as anti-Muslim racism, is hostility toward Islam and Muslims or discrimination against or fear of Islam and Muslims.

RECENT EXAMPLES

  • In June 2016, a Muslim woman was punched and spat on while she shopped with her four-month-old son in London Ontario. 
  • In the summer of 2016, the soldiers of Odin, an anti-immigrant street patrol group, began patrolling the streets of Regina. 
  • In November 2016, a man showed a noose to two Muslim women waiting at a transit station in Edmonton and sang “O Canada.” 

ISLAMOPHOBIA: MORE EXAMPLES

INTERNATIONAL

  • The banning of the full-body bathing suit or burkini by a number of French municipalities
  • Donald Trump’s call for all Muslims to be banned from the US
  • Britain’s Brexit vote

NATIONAL

  • The Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, passed into law by the Harper government and supported by the Liberals: It’s still law.
  • The online Care2 petition, which garnered 50,000 signatures, asking the Trudeau government to “stop resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada” 

LOCAL

  • Talk show host John Gormley’s tweet encouraging the murder of Muslims
  • Premier Brad Wall’s identification of Syrian refugees with terrorism
  • Hateful online comments posted to a story about the arrival of a Syrian refugee in Regina

CANADIAN VALUES?

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch has proposed to apply a “Canadian values” test to potential immigrants. Which Canadian values will she be drawing on?

Racist values that led to policies such as the following?

  • 1876 – 1996: The genocidal residential school system
  • 1914: The turning back of the Komagata Maru, a ship that arrived in the Vancouver harbour carrying 376 Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim passengers
  • 1939: The turning back of the St Louis, a ship that arrived in the Halifax harbour carrying 739 German Jewish refugees, forcing the ship to return to Europe where many passengers died in Nazi concentration camps
  • 2010: The detention of 492 Tamil asylum seekers who arrived on the BC coast on the MV Sun Sea
  • Ongoing: Underfunding of First Nations child welfare services

Is there any chance that Kellie Leitch is referring to the values upheld in the ongoing struggle for justice in Canada?

ISLAMOPHOBIA: CONSEQUENCES

ANTI-MUSLIM HATE CRIMES

Islamophobia has very real consequences, laying the ground work for anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents. A 2016 Environics Institute survey revealed that 35% of Canadian Muslims have experienced discrimination and unfair treatment in recent years.

ENDLESS WAR

Endless war against Muslim countries is another consequence of Islamophobia. Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria–Canada has now been at war in Muslim countries for 14 years without a break.

2 ISLAMOPHOBIC STEREOTYPES

  • The inherently violent Muslim man: Like most non-Muslim men, most Muslim men hold ordinary jobs and value family and friends. They are not any more violent than non-Muslim men. Much of the violence in the world today is directed at Muslims by non-Muslims. 
  • The oppressed Muslim woman: “While the demonization of Islam and Muslims as exceptionally oppressive [of women] certainly advances the cause of racist stereotyping, it does little to benefit the women in whose interests these sometime champions for equality claim to speak. On the contrary, Muslim women bear a heavy part of the burden of violence and hatred generated by these stereotypes.”—from a column in the Ottawa Citizen, signed by 20 prominent Muslim-Canadian women.  

TAKE ACTION

  1. Learn more about Islamophobia. Visit the National Council of Canadian Muslim’s website online map of anti-Muslim hate-crimes and incidents: http://www.nccm.ca/map/
  2. Here are the names of four prominent Muslim-Canadian women: Zarqa Nawaz, Monia Mazigh, Rukhsana Khan, Sheema Khan. Are you familiar with them? If not, do a google search.
  3. Read the whole column in the Ottawa Citizen written by 20 prominent Muslim-Canadian women: Google “Ottawa Citizen Islamophobic feminism.”
  4. Read the National Council of Canadian Muslim’s Charter For Inclusive Communities and consider signing it: http://www.nccm.ca/charter/

 

 

 

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