Five years ago, on January 29, 2017, the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City was subjected to a horrific, hateful, and Islamophobic crime. This place of worship was attacked by a gunman who opened fire on the worshipers, killing six people and injuring many more.
Just last June, a man rammed a pickup truck into Muslim Pakistani Canadian pedestrians at an intersection in London, Ontario, Canada. Four people were killed, and another was wounded; all were from the same family Police reported that the attack was motivated by Islamophobia.
In 2021, the federal government declared January 29 as the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action Against Islamophobia.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) acknowledges that Islamophobia is real, and is entrenched in our society.
All children and residents in Canada have a right to live, learn, and prosper in a society free from the destructive effects of hate and violence.
We must stand together to reject and denounce the destructive effects of Islamophobia, hatred, and all forms of discrimination and oppression in our communities.
It is important for us to be mindful that January 29 can be incredibly difficult for Muslim students, families, and staff. We must all ensure our planning, pedagogy, and curriculum are rooted in trauma-informed anti-racist and anti-Islamophobic frameworks.
As Renu Mandhane, Chief Commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission said in 2021, “Let’s all seize the moment and do the right thing—let’s take action so Muslims really are accepted and valued as members of everyone’s community. That’s the kind of Canadian value that’s worth fighting for.”
Anti-Islamophobia and Racism Educational/Action Resources:
- National Council of Canadian Muslims—Green Square Campaign for Educators
- Learn how to fight Islamophobia and racism—www.breakthebehaviour.ca
- National Film Board of Canada—A playlist of NFB films that lift the voices of Canadians of Muslim faith and address Islamophobia in society
- OSSTF/FEESO Educational Services Workshop—Racial Justice