(Toronto – April 27, 2023)

NCCM welcomes the Toronto District School Board’s latest unanimous vote this Wednesday to adopt and implement a board-wide anti-Islamophobia strategy.

We thank TDSB trustees Neethan Shan and Liban Hassan for first putting forth the “Addressing Islamophobia” motion. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that this strategy is robust and implemented effectively.

We have long had a strong working relationship with the TDSB to support anti-racist and anti-Islamophobia initiatives, while advocating for Muslim students and community members when they face hate and discrimination. This latest motion is in line with the spirit of this working relationship.

Islamophobic incidents have been on the rise across the country in recent years. This includes inside our classrooms in Toronto and beyond. Almost one out of every five students in the TDSB (according to a 2017 Board census) identify as Muslim. It is time that our leaders implemented a real anti-Islamophobia strategy to help protect our kids.

“Muslim students should not have to worry about their safety and survival in our classrooms and schools,” said NCCM’s Director of Education Programs Aasiyah Khan. “These are spaces where our children are supposed to thrive.” Khan also spoke as a delegate on the motion at the Board.

Studies and reports on the lived experiences of Muslim students in Canadian school systems tell us that Islamophobia exists in many ways. A systemic solution will have to involve students, teachers, administrators, and many other community members working together for a safer learning environment. 

A robust anti-Islamophobia strategy can be a major building block for such a future. It is a real step in the right direction in the TDSB’s commitment to equity and inclusion.