In a comprehensive address to all Members of Parliament, the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC) outlines critical concerns regarding the escalating crisis in Gaza, instances of disturbing police brutality within Canadian university settings, and the pervasive anti-Palestinian racism prevalent in our society. This letter underscores the urgent need for Canadian leadership to address these pressing issues with compassion, resolve, and a commitment to justice and human rights.

May 14, 2024

Dear Member of Parliament,                ,

As the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC), we write to you regarding the urgent need for heightened Canadian engagement and leadership in addressing 1) the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the beginning of the Israeli operation in Rafah, 2) the police brutality at Canadian university encampments, and 3) the pervasive anti-Palestinian racism in Canadian society. 

Israeli Invasion of Rafah

Recent reports indicate that the Israeli invasion of Rafah, the last refuge for displaced Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, is underway, prompting further displacement of thousands of innocent civilians. Furthermore, the closure of key crossings has further exacerbated the crisis, halting the delivery of humanitarian aid and fuel necessary for operating hospitals.

Consistent with the demands outlined in our earlier letter to MPs appealing for an urgent halt to the potential invasion of Rafah by the Israeli military, we implore Canadian leadership to do the following:

  1. Public Denouncement: Make a public statement denouncing any potential invasion of Rafah by the Israeli military to prevent further displacement, humanitarian catastrophe, and  ethnic cleansing;
  2. Arms Embargo: Call for support of a bilateral arms embargo against Israel to end Canadian complicity in the ongoing genocide and to prevent the escalation of violence; A temporary halt of new permits is not adequate.
  3. Sanctions: Demand sanctions against Israeli officials implicated in war crimes, including those responsible for civilian casualties, mass displacement, and mass graves; and 
  4. Accountability: advocate for independent international investigations to ensure accountability and holding the Israeli government responsible for its actions on the global stage

Additionally, Canada must increase its humanitarian aid specifically targeting Gaza to provide essential support to civilians affected by Israeli military operations. This aid should focus on addressing urgent humanitarian needs such as access to healthcare, clean water, and food security, while also supporting long-term development projects to rebuild infrastructure and promote economic stability in the region.

Encampments Across Canadian Universities

CMPAC, in conjunction with 57 other organizations, has issued a joint statement condemning the police brutality and the violation of Charter rights witnessed at the University of Calgary and University of Alberta peaceful encampments. As elected representatives entrusted with upholding the values of democracy and protecting the rights of all citizens, it is imperative that you take proactive measures and decisive action in response to these concerning developments.

Therefore, we urge you to take the following steps:

  1. Strongly condemn excessive force by Calgary Police Service (CPS) and Edmonton Police Service (EPS) against peaceful protesters.
  1. Demand thorough and transparent investigations into police actions, holding accountable those responsible.
  1. Assert that university administrations must uphold academic freedom and engage in dialogue with students.
  1. Publicly demonstrate your support for students’ rights and actively work to ensure their safety.

Combatting Anti-Palestinian Racism

To effectively address the pervasive anti-Palestinian racism, we must acknowledge its existence within Canadian institutions and society. CMPAC, in collaboration with Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Independent Jewish Voices (IJV), and the Arab Canadian Lawyers Association (ACLA), has released a significant policy paper titled “Combating Anti-Palestinian Racism and Antisemitism: Intersectionality within Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.” Based on the findings, Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy requires immediate revision:

  1. We urge the integration of a comprehensive definition of anti-Palestinian racism into the strategy, ensuring equitable treatment and protection of Palestinians. 
  1. Meaningful consultation with Palestinian, Muslim and Arab organizations during the drafting and implementation phases is essential to address erasure and marginalization.

As we confront these interconnected challenges, it is imperative that the Canadian leadership and MPs must demonstrate unwavering commitment to justice, human rights, and equality, through meaningful action. Canada must stand on the right side of history by holding the Israeli government accountable for its crimes, protect the rights of students, and eradicate Islamophobia and systemic racism against Palestinians.


Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC)