Since January 2017, there has been a sharp increase in Islamophobia in the country, and Muslims have experienced atrocities ranging from killings to injuries to harassment and intimidation.
Representing 4.9% (1.862 million) of the Canadian population, Muslims are part of the country’s fabric and positively contribute to its growth and progress. However, they are facing unprecedented challenges stemming from continual incidents of Islamophobia. Some have already lost their lives and limbs, while others are afraid of a similar fate, God forbid.
Canada, a country built on the rule of law, could not just sit and wait for conditions to deteriorate. The country has taken impactful steps aimed at combating the phobia. Among other things, a standing Canadian senate committee on Human Rights was tasked with studying the effects of Islamophobia in Canada.
The findings of the Human Rights Committee are alarming indeed. It issued a long report detailing how Islamophobia is affecting Muslims in the country. The report, released on November 2, 2023, took a year and involved 21 public meetings and 138 witnesses. The committee’s research found “that one in four Canadians do not trust Muslims, and that Canada leads the G7 in terms of targeted killings of Muslims motivated by Islamophobia.”
“Canada’s anti-racism strategy 2019–2022 states that Islamophobia includes racism, stereotypes, prejudice, fear, or acts of hostility directed towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general.”