Shomporko Online News Desk: Following an emergency summit on Islamophobia on Thursday, Islamic scholars and Imams said the federal government must fix its own discriminatory policies before effectively addressing the issue of anti-Muslim hatred in Canada.
Anver M. Emon, director of the University of Toronto’s Institute of Islamic Studies, told Global News on Thursday that the federal government has “clear policies” that discriminate against Muslims and that the government cannot be considered a “neutral umpire” in the debate.
“…those policies do have a trickle-down effect in terms of the culture of bureaucratic practices that infect the body politic, sort of like the virus we’re fighting — all of us are fighting in this pandemic, but Islamophobia is a virus as well,” said Emon.
“That’s taking shape in a variety of ways at the formal governmental level and also infects our culture and our public discourse.”
The summit, which was called in response to a recent string of violent attacks that have injured or killed Muslim Canadians, was hosted by the federal government.
Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger said that the event would be an opportunity for Muslim Canadians to give insight into how the government could stop such attacks and introduce policies to protect their communities.
Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canadians should all be fighting for a country that they “all want to see.”
Trudeau also called out the federal security and tax agencies among the government public services that he says should be doing more to put an end to Islamophobia in Canada.
“From the (Canada Revenue Agency) to security agencies, institutions should support people, not target them,” said Trudeau.
While Trudeau pointed a finger at these institutions as well as other levels of government and businesses to do more, his speech did not respond to a call from nearly 100 Muslim organizations for the Liberal government to reform the Canada Revenue Agency’s practices in auditing Muslim charities.
These are the same tactics highlighted by Emon and his team at U of T, as well as the National Council of Canadian Muslims, in a report examining how governments audit Muslim-led NGOs.
According to Emon’s study, Muslim charities have been placed in the “crosshairs” of either the Ministry of Finance’s anti-terrorism financing rules or the Public Safety Ministry’s anti-radicalization policies.
Source_ the Canadian press