New charter to help Muslim residents feel safer in Waterloo region

Waterloo region is home to just under 20,000 Muslims

By Jackie Sharkey
CBC News | November 23, 2016

The Waterloo Region Crime Prevention Council hopes adopting a new Charter for Inclusive Communities will head off anti-Muslim sentiments that appear to have jumped north of the border after the U.S. election.

« There’s a real, sort of, concern that rhetoric will spill over, and already we have seen a number of incidents, » said Sarah Shafiq, community-at-large member with the council and member of the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW.

« Islamophobia, it’s a huge industry, » Shafiq told The Morning Edition’s host Craig Norris on Wednesday.

A study by the Center for American Progress in 2011 revealed seven charitable groups gave $42.6 million to Islamophobia think tanks between 2001 and 2009.

« So if it’s being done deliberately, we have to counter it deliberately as well, » she said.

. . .

The charter was created by the National Council of Canadian Muslims to draw attention to Islamophobia.

« When we’re talking about racism and discrimination, many times we don’t even use the term Islamophobia. So this sort of brings our attention to this term, and then recognizing that this exists, » Shafiq said.

Shafiq said she hopes this will get people, particularly those in power and in politics, to use the word.

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