CMPAC Statement on Rising Islamophobia
Mississauga, Oct 18, 2023 – Members and allies of the Muslim community are deeply concerned at the rising wave of Islamophobic rhetoric emerging, and the consequences it has for Palestinians whose lives are on the line, as well as the safety and well-being of the Muslim community in Canada.
From politicians equating support of Palestinians with support of terrorism, more and more Canadian political leaders have reignited the trope of the terrorist-sympathizing Muslim community that citizens ought to fear. We are seeing this at every level of government, with no resistance.
Most critically, framing this week’s events only from an Israeli perspective and the alleged threat of continued terrorism deflects all attention away from the grave atrocities unfolding in Gaza.
We continue to push our government to explicitly call for a ceasefire and a lift to the blockade on Gaza, neither of which they have yet put to words, and hold the Israeli government accountable for continued breaches of international law, including bombing a church-run hospital, and a UN-run school, collective punishment in the form of a complete siege, and the use of white phosphorous. We are also letting our elected officials and media publications know that we are watching, and we will remember the callousness of their stances.
Meanwhile in Canada, visible Muslims are bearing the brunt of the backlash, with a spike in verbal and physical assault reminiscent of the post 9/11 environment.
The community mourns the Islamophobic murder of Wadea Al-Fayoum in Chicago, and the stabbing attack on his mother Hanaan Shahin, spurred on by this same inflammatory Islamophobic rhetoric reflected in media reporting on Palestine.
Employees are facing intimidation and reprimand for voicing humanitarian concerns for Palestinians, and there has been a chill on their ability to freely express these concerns.
We will not forget the irresponsible framing of these past weeks, nor the responsibility for the consequences it is having on Palestinians in the complacency of their murder, and on Canadians in the division of our communities.
In recognizing the impact of the growing trend of Islamophobic incidents domestically, we encourage the community to share your experiences with CMPAC using our form below. Tracking the nature and scope of these incidents helps us bring the consequences of their words and actions to our decision-makers and political leaders as we continue to hold them accountable to the Muslim community.