Canadian Muslim leaders call for government action on Islamophobia/ Lettre ouverte des leaders et des représentants des communautés musulmanes du Canada

-For Immediate Release-

‘Open Letter’ released to three levels of government; urges support for Motion 103

(Ottawa – February 8, 2017) A coalition of national and Quebec-based Muslim organizations led by the the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released an open letter today at a Parliament Hill news conference urging all three levels of government to take concrete action to counter Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and discrimination following the terror attack on the Centre culturel Islamique de Québec.

Read Open Letter here.

Lisez Lettre ouverte ici.

The open letter, endorsed by dozens of Canadian Muslim institutions and organizations across the country, as well as by community allies, says in part:

« How do we move on from this heartbreaking event and ensure that we learn lessons from this tragedy? How can we work harder to stamp out hate – against anyone, for any reason – in our communities?

« We, representatives from Canadian Muslim organizations and communities, call on municipal, provincial, and federal governments to work together and to take immediate steps to support efforts to combat Islamophobia and hatred in our communities. »

The open letter goes on to recommend « meaningful » policy actions for all three levels of government:

Cities: Increasing funding for local police services to receive training on hate crimes and to annually collect and publicly report on hate crimes.

Provincial: All provinces to create an Anti-Racism Directorate, similar to Ontario and create a mandatory secondary-school course on systemic racism and its impact on society.

Federal: Calls on members of parliament to support Motion 103, which calls on the government to find ways in which the government can reduce or eliminate systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada, including Islamophobia.

The letter further calls on Parliament to declare January 29 as the « National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia » to honour the memory of the lives lost in the Quebec City mosque attack.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.