Canada’s unions call for National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia

January 28, 2021

Canada’s unions are calling on the federal government to designate January 29 as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia, in memory of the victims of the deadly shooting at a Quebec City mosque four years ago. The attack claimed the lives of six worshippers and injured many more.

“Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with Muslim communities across the country in marking the fourth anniversary of this tragic event,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “We are calling for this national day of remembrance to honour the lives of the victims of this tragedy and to demonstrate a commitment towards confronting Islamophobia.”

Far-right extremism and populism continue to rise rapidly in Canada, and Islamophobia is a central and fueling feature of their rhetoric. As the CLC’s 2019 report on confronting Islamophobia in the workplace showed, numerous right-wing actors have effectively utilized fear and demonization of Muslims and Islam as a means of channeling various economic and social grievances.

It is vile hatred such as this, and the ongoing and sustained vilification of Muslims that led to the horrific attacks such as the one that took place at Quebec City’s Islamic Cultural Centre, as well as the fatal stabbing of a volunteer caretaker at a Toronto mosque in September of 2020.

“It is our collective responsibility to counter Islamophobia and hatred,” said Yussuff. “It is more important than ever to work together and show that there is no place for Islamophobia in our workplaces, nor in the communities in which we live.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated how critical it is for workers to come together for the greater good and ensure the safety and well-being of all Canadians, regardless of religion, ability, race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. This need for unity extends to our shared obligation to counter hatred, xenophobia and Islamophobia in our communities.

The CLC will be hosting a special webinar “Countering Islamophobia: how to be an ally” on Friday, January 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm EST. Join the webinar.

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