Canadian Muslims Share Islamophobia

This report describes the everyday incidents of discrimination experienced by Muslims.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, OTTAWA — Several Canadian Muslims have spoken out about the experience of Islamophobia in a new report from the charity Islamic Relief Canada. The report’s release coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Quebec mosque shooting and the National Day of Action Against Islamophobia.

“Canadians often hear only about violent or extreme attacks against Muslims. This report is intended to shed light on the everyday incidents of discrimination and petty aggression that Muslims experience and to demonstrate the long-term effects of hatred,” said Head of Communications and Government Relations at Islamic Relief Canada. Reyhana Patel quoted from CBC, Monday (31/1/2022).

This report is intended to shed light on everyday incidents of discrimination and aggression small experienced by Muslims and to demonstrate the long-term effects of hatred. One who shared his story was Saleha Islam from British Columbia. She confessed when she was in middle school, she wore the hijab for the first time.

Some of the boys in the class asked her about the headscarf, then started to take it off her head. He said he was scared but decided to face them.

“I was like, ‘Do you know what you’ve done? This is very important to me. This is how I identify myself as a Muslim woman. So you shouldn’t do that to anyone, ever,” she said.

According to the report, many of those who have shared their experiences feel that the experience is to be expected, living as a minority in Canada. The report also found that women were more likely to be targets of Islamophobia.

The organization points to laws in Quebec, such as Bill 62 of the law which includes a ban on wearing the niqab, a veil that leaves an opening for the eyes or the burqa, a veil that covers the head and body completely, while doing certain things. Activities and Bill 21, which prohibits some civil servants in positions of authority from wearing religious symbols while working.

In December 2021, an elementary school teacher at Chelsea, was told she could no longer teach classes because she wore a headscarf, which is prohibited under Bill 21. The report also said most of the people responding to calls for stories were women. The organization calls on the government to take all necessary measures to tackle Islamophobia and its root causes.

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