Muslim leaders ask for national day of remembrance to mark mosque shooting
Muslim leaders want governments to create plan to combat systemic racism, Islamophobia
By Elysha Enos
CBC News | February 8, 2017
A coalition of Canadian Muslim leaders wants the federal government to recognize the day of the Quebec City mosque shooting as a national day of remembrance and action against Islamophobia.
The call for declaring Jan. 29 a symbolic day against Islamophobia came in an open letter signed by Muslim leaders and addressed to the Canadian people and politicians.
The letter was read during a news conference on Parliament Hill Wednesday by Ihsaan Gardee, the executive director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.
He thanked Canadians for their demonstrations of solidarity that included symbolic rings of peace, vigils and flowers following the attack at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec that left six worshippers dead and 19 wounded.
But Gardee called on lawmakers to turn that concern into action. The letter outlined concrete steps that all three levels of government can take to curb systemic racism, and more specifically, Islamophobia.
Mohamed Yangui, president of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, also urged the government to follow through.
“We hope our government follows the recommendations in the open letter, not only for the Muslim community but for all communities,” he said.
Those steps include:
– Boost resources for local police services for training on how to deal with hate crimes and provide education, outreach to diverse communities.
– Publicly release annual reviews of hate crimes.
– Train officers in areas of bias-neutral policing.
– Establish an anti-racism directorate to examine issues of systemic racism and create and support public education campaigns.
– Create mandatory course on systemic racism at secondary school level and make sure educators have training and resources for it.
– Declare Jan. 29 a day of remembrance and action.
– All members of Parliament to support Motion 103, which was tabled in December, and calls on the government to study ways to reduce or eliminate systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada, including Islamophobia.