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National Summit on Islamophobia leads to funding for anti-racism projects

The Lawyers Daily
Saturday July 24, 2021

The federal government has committed to support eight projects through the Anti-Racism Action Program to “address Islamophobia and aim to remove systemic barriers faced by Muslim communities.”

According to a government release, issued July 22, the government’s announcement was made as part of the National Summit on Islamophobia.

The projects include dedicating funding for the Somali Muslim Hate Crime Summit, which aims to “improve the community’s capacity to address online hate on social media and other cyber domains, and to develop solutions,” as well as the Black and Muslim Youth Leadership Initiative, which aims to “improve Black and Muslim youth’s access to employment in government/public policy, justice system, environmental sector, arts, and technology in the Greater Toronto Area.”

“Muslim Canadians across the country continue to fear for their safety and security — this has to stop,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Our government is engaging with Muslim communities and stepping up our efforts in the fight against Islamophobia. Hate has no place in our country, and we will continue to take meaningful action to combat racism and discrimination in every form. Together, we can build a safer and more inclusive Canada for everyone,” he added.

The release noted that during the summit, the government committed to:

  • “Engage with Muslim communities on the government’s next Anti-Racism Action Plan, which will be launched when the 2019–2022 Anti-Racism Strategy comes to an end;
  • Explore potential adjustments to the Security Infrastructure Program (SIP), Anti-Racism Action Program (ARAP), Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Initiatives Program (CSMARI) and other relevant/related programs to enhance effectiveness and to be more responsive to community needs. These programs will continue to dismantle white supremacist groups, monitor hate groups and take action to combat hate everywhere, including online;
  • Building on lessons learned to improve digital literacy and tackling misinformation;
  • A renewed focus on dedicated resources to support the work within government to combat islamophobia and all forms of hate;
  • Diane Lebouthillier, minister of national revenue, has requested that the Taxpayers’ Ombudsperson conduct a systemic study to address the concerns of Muslim-led charitable organizations;
  • Take a whole-of-government approach by working with departments across the government to take further action on these priorities.”
“More than any time in recent history, I have not witnessed this level of anxiety within the Canadian Muslim community,” said Mohammed Hashim, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, in a statement.

“This is not of our choosing; we neither sought nor provoked this confrontation with hate,” he added, noting that the summit “brought together Muslim leaders to chart a new path forward” and they “look forward to working in collaboration with government of Canada to combat the serious issue of Islamophobia in Canada.”


 





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