Calgary community leaders tackle radicalization and Islamophobia

By Devin Heroux & Nazim Baksh
CBC News | March 31, 2017

Government and community leaders along with police and youth workers are making a serious push in Calgary to combat what many describe as a rise in Islamophobia and the potential threat of radicalization.

“We’re not immune to hatred here in Canada or in Calgary,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Nenshi said there is an increase in religious bigotry of all kinds, not only in Calgary but across the country, and the consequences of it can have a devastating effect on any community.

. . .

But Amira Elghawaby says not all young Muslims living in Calgary experience that same level of safety described by the mayor.

Elghawaby works with the National Council of Canadian Muslims and travels across the country conducting workshops on Islamophobia. In Calgary, she said, she heard a troubling theme.

“I spoke to a lot of young Calgary Muslims and was a little disheartened hearing that they do get harassed at school at times or in some of the public spaces in the city,” Elghawaby said.

Elghawaby said many Muslims across the country are still reeling from the Quebec City mosque attack.

“It’s created a sense of shame about their religion and identity,” she said.

“It is weighing on our young people and it’s that young generation we need to pay attention to and build that resilience.”

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