OP-EDs


Goodbye, Bernier: Canadians have rejected your politics of fear

By Mustafa Farooq The Globe and Mail | October 26, 2019 Mustafa Farooq is a lawyer and the executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims. At the beginning of the campaign, we at the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) saw clearly that Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) planned to use this election cycle to see if Islamophobia and Trump-style politics of fear and division would work in Canada. Thus we were confronted with “platform paradox”: How do you publicly critique someone engaging in racist conduct without ...

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Challenging a law that divides and endangers

By Noa Mendelsohn Aviv and Mustafa Farooq Montreal Gazette | June 17, 2019 Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, passed in the Quebec National Assembly this past weekend. Bill 21, of course, is the law that will ban Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and others who wear symbols of their faith from pursuing careers in numerous public sector jobs. As civil liberties advocates, we have had Bill 21 at the front of our minds since its introduction in March. And this has become even more concerning because of what happened in Quebec City merely a few weeks ago. On ...

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Standing on guard against Quebec’s unconstitutional Bill 21

By Mustafa Farooq Edmonton Journal | June 8, 2019 I’m ready to admit something: I always tear up when I hear the Canadian national anthem. I think my emotional response to the anthem began at a young age, when, as I stood in Grade 3 assembly to sing the anthem, I saw my mother in the crowd of parents. She stood tall as she always had, in a long jacket and wearing a white hijab, standing out in a crowd of, shall we say, less-than-racially-diverse parents in Sherwood Park. As the anthem welled up, “God keep our land/glorious and free!” I saw my mother wipe the ...

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Anti-semitism and Islamophobia are two sides of the same coin

By Mustafa Farooq Edmonton Journal | May 9, 2019 On April 27, in what feels like only a few days ago, a 19-year-old man walked into the Chabad of Poway synagogue in a San Diego suburb and opened fire on worshippers celebrating Passover. Lori Gilbert-Kaye was tragically murdered, and three others were wounded in the attack. While the investigation remains ongoing, the perpetrator seems to have been inspired, as per an online manifesto, by white supremacy. The gunman praised Robert Bowers, who killed 11 people and wounded six others in the Pittsburgh Tree of Life ...

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The Bissonnette sentencing doesn’t bring closure on Islamophobia

By Ihsaan Gardee The Globe and Mail | February 11, 2019 Ihsaan Gardee is the executive director, National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Entering the Québec City courthouse on the day mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette was sentenced, I was cast back in time to another day: when I arrived at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec, the morning after the heinous attack. The street was eerily quiet with only the lights from police cars betraying the violent tragedy that had occurred hours before. What I remember most was the fortitude of the survivors and ...

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Rise in hate crimes calls for a unified response

By: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Montreal Gazette | December 4, 2018 Since the deadly Quebec City mosque attack on Jan. 29, 2017, Canadians have come to recognize that our country is not immune to the growth in hatred and racism spreading across many liberal democracies. The latest figures from Statistics Canada on police-reported hate crimes only confirm the worst fears of community advocates. Islamophobia is a reality Canadians Muslims face. In 2017, hate crimes against Muslims rose sharply, up 151 per cent ...

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Combat hate by building goodwill and tearing down walls

By: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) First published in Toronto Star. The families of the victims of last year’s horrific Quebec mosque attack recently learned they would have to endure another difficult period of delay as the judge postponed the sentencing of the shooter. Tragically, more families are facing the unspeakable pain of losing loved ones to bigoted violence in the wake of Saturday’s attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that claimed the lives of Jewish worshipers on a ...

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Government Must Rebuild Trust with Canadian Muslims on National Security

By Ihsaan Gardee The Hill Times | June 11, 2018 Once bitten, twice shy. That’s the sense within Canadian Muslim communities when it comes to the Liberal government’s proposed overhaul of national security law under Bill C-59. The legislation was back before the House last week after examination by the Public Safety and National Security Committee. Let’s not forget where this first started. Under the previous government, Canadian anti-terrorism laws quickly morphed into overreaching and draconian policies. This was coupled with Muslim communities facing ...

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Bill 62: The European experience shows us it’s a bad idea

By Mihad Fahmy The Globe and Mail | October 25, 2017 To understand the effects of Quebec's Bill 62, it is important to understand what is going on in Europe. Driving the wedge deeper into an already divided society, Quebec politicians are copying policies that produce predictable results: rising xenophobia, violence against minorities and discrimination. Historically, Canada has had a more accommodating approach to individual liberty than European countries, where the case law and legal discourse is built on the premise that public spaces and, by extension, public ...

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Concrete action and results on human rights are needed

A UN report raises questions about Canada’s human rights. The parliamentary committee studying discrimination and systemic racism should take note. By Amira Elghawaby Policy Options | September 20, 2017 The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage has begun hearing from witnesses as part of its study of Islamophobia, religious discrimination and systemic racism. After a summer of anti-Muslim rallies and hate incidents and crimes, there is little doubt Motion 103 is necessary —despite past opposition from some Conservative members. This isn’t the view only ...

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