Oakville, ON – April 30, 2024, The Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) firmly advocates for the fundamental rights of students to engage in peaceful protest and exercise their freedom of expression. Recent student protests and encampments across Canada, notably at McGill University and University of British Columbia, have brought attention to critical issues such as genocide, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and systemic injustices against Palestinians. It is crucial to recognize that these expressions are not targeted at any particular community or individuals, nor are they promoting in anti-Semitism.

CMPAC firmly upholds the principle that the right to protest is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Students possess the right to voice their dissent and advocate for change without fear of reprisal or intimidation. It is imperative to perceive these protests not as disruptive or divisive acts, but as affirmative manifestations of free speech and civic engagement. They are not intended to sow division or hostility; rather, they serve as potent reminders of the values of inclusivity, justice, and equality that we aspire to uphold as a society.

As an organization dedicated to fostering dialogue and understanding, CMPAC urges all stakeholders to engage constructively with student protesters and their demands in order to avoid an unnecessary escalation stemming from a heavy-handed approach comparable to the US campuses. We further encourage the educational institution’s administration to approach these demonstrations with openness and respect and seize them as opportunities to cultivate meaningful discourse and to uphold the principles of democracy and free speech.

CMPAC reaffirms its support and solidarity of our students across Canadian campuses in their demands for universities to divest from corporations that fund Israel’s genocide, and for justice for Palestinians.