NCCM welcomes updated policy on preventing creed-based discrimination

(Ottawa – December 15, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the release of the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s (OHRC) updated Policy on preventing discrimination based on Creed.

First introduced in 1996, this policy update is meant to serve as a “valuable roadmap” in addressing evolving human rights issues around creed, religion and beliefs.

“The OHRC’s new policy is a welcome and timely tool to help diverse Canadian communities navigate and challenge discrimination based on creed and religion. This is particularly important at a time when Canadian Muslims are reporting a rise in hate crimes and hate incidents,” says human rights lawyer Mihad Fahmy, head of the NCCM’s Human Rights Committee.

“It is also noteworthy that the commission identified Muslims as comprising over 30 percent of all complainants citing creed as a ground of discrimination in applications filed at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario*. This suggests that Ontarians will benefit from further clarity on how to resolve accommodation requests and how to address possible discrimination and bias impacting Canadian Muslims and other communities,” adds Fahmy.

The NCCM provides support and guidance to Canadian Muslims seeking advice and redress for discrimination and human rights violations. Reported cases frequently occur in schools, workplaces and in other public institutions.

The NCCM offers training and workshops as well as publications including a guide specifically for employees titled, My rights at work: Religious accommodation in the workplace, in an effort to help prevent discrimination and to remove barriers to full participation of Canadian Muslims.

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


*Please note that an earlier version of this release did not specify that this figure relates specifically to creed-related complaints. According to the Commission, applications citing creed account for between 6-8 percent of all HRTO applications. It is also relevant to note that Muslims file applications at the HRTO on race-related grounds, such as race, colour, ethnic origin, place of origin, citizenship, etc. However not all complainants will include creed if it was also a possible ground, so the overall statistic does not capture all Muslim complaints at the HRTO.