Canada Prime Minister Trudeau addresses Islamophobia ahead of emergency national summit
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saidhas been fed by populism and the politics of division.
“There are politicians who have been stoking hatred and division that we as a government have been pushing back against,” said Trudeau in an exclusive one-on-one interview with Global News’ Farah Nasser in Brampton, Ont., on Monday.
The National Summit on Islamophobia is set to take place on July 22.
According to the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), since the targeted hate crime against a Muslim family in London, Ont., that left four dead and a nine-year-old boy orphaned, violent hate-filled attacks have been a daily occurrence in Canada.
Muslim council issues recommendations ahead of national Islamophobia summit this week
The National Council of Canadian Muslims has released a lengthy list of policy recommendations for elected officials ahead of a national summit on Islamophobia this week. The organization is holding events today in cities that have experienced crimes targeting Muslims in recent years, including Quebec City, the Greater Toronto Area, Edmonton and London, Ont., where last month four members of a family were killed while out for a walk. Mustafa Farooq, the chief executive officer of the NCCM, told reporters in southwestern Ontario today the recommendations target every level of government and were compiled after talking with members of the community from across the countr
“The reality is that Canada has suffered more mass killings motivated by Islamophobia in the last five years than any other country in the G7,” says CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims Mustafa Farooq.
Nasser asked the Prime Minister on how policies contribute to hate and specifically Quebec’s Bill 21, the provincial legislation in place in Quebec that bars the wearing of religious symbols by some public service workers in positions of authority, including teachers and police officers while on the job.
Trudeau maintained that while he disagrees with the bill, it is up to the people of Quebec to challenge the legislation in court if they feel it is infringing on their rights.
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“The federal government isn't the dad to the provinces. The Constitution lays out areas of jurisdiction where we are watching very closely what happens,” says the Prime Minister.
Critics of the bill argue it treats Muslims like second-class citizens and legitimizes hate.
“He can get involved and the Attorney General can intervene. It’s quite simple,” says Farooq.
“We expect the AG, who has the right to intervene in these cases, to get involved.”
“We are seeing a rise in Islamophobia right across the country,” said Trudeau in the Global News interview.
“Those Edmonton women who were attacked for wearing a hijab weren't impacted by 21. They're being impacted by a larger intolerance and hatred and division that is present right across Canada and present right around the world.”
The National Summit on Islamophobia will address the 61 recommendations the group has put forward including asking the government to build a support fund for those who have lost livelihoods because of the bill.
Other recommendations includes a federal review of the human rights act, a study at how the National Security Agency has failed to deal with white supremacy groups and developing anti-Islamophobia strategies in education at the provincial level, as well as launching municipal anti-racism campaigns.
Canada’s government can’t be ‘neutral umpire’ in fight against Islamophobia: experts .
The emergency summit was called in response to a recent string of violent attacks that have injured or killed Muslim Canadians. Your browser does not support this video Speaking with Global News on Thursday, Anver M. Emon, director of University of Toronto's Institute of Islamic Studies, said that the federal government has in itself "explicit policies" that are discriminatory against Muslims and that the government can't be looked at as a "neutral umpire" in the conversation.