September 8, 2021
Muslim leaders from across the country have come together to launch the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC). CMPAC is a lobby organization mandated to strengthen and advance the interests of the growing Canadian Muslim community through engaging and educating decision-makers, influencing public policy and mobilizing Muslims across Canada.
“Driven by both legacy national security legislation that is problematic, the rising tide of Islamophobia, and inadequately addressed systemic racism in government institutions, CMPAC will focus on lobbying all levels of government to address systems, policy and legislation that negatively impact the Muslim community,” says Dr. Yaser Haddara, CMPAC’s interim chair. “CMPAC’s priority is to promote and protect the rights and interests of Muslims, Muslim organizations in Canada, as well as speaking up for justice and human rights for Muslims around the world.”
As part of CMPAC’s launch, the organization has developed a 44th Federal Election Centre with resources that community members and organizations can use to make an informed decision. The Election Centre includes an Election Issues Guide, a Party Platform Comparison on top issues of importance to the Muslim community, and material for Mosques and community organizations to mobilize their constituencies.
CMPAC is calling for political parties to make three commitments in this election:
1. Establish a federal office to combat Islamophobia,
2. Announce a moratorium on CRA’s prejudiced and biased audits of Muslim charities and
introduce CBSA oversight,
3. Intervene in all future cases challenging Bill 21 before the courts.
“The level of democratic participation from Muslim Canadians has exponentially grown since 2015. This election is about deciding how committed political parties are to addressing top issues for Canadian Muslims,” says Sarah Mushtaq, CMPAC’s spokesperson. “We expect parties to move beyond nice words and make specific commitments to address the top issues: escalating hate crimes, systemic Islamophobia still embedded in government institutions, an outdated security regime, discriminatory laws in Quebec, and glaring gaps in Canada’s foreign policy when it comes to standing up for human rights.”
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