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Amnesty International Calls on Parliamentarians to Unite in Responding to Growing Intolerance and Violence against Muslims

    February 20, 2017

    Amnesty International is deeply troubled by reports that Iqra Khalid, Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Erin Mills, and her staff have received a large number of hateful, racist, bigoted and misogynistic voice mail and email messages and threats in response to Ms. Khalid’s introduction of House of Commons Motion 103: Systemic racism and religious discrimination

    Motion 103 speaks to concerns about systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada, with a particular focus on Islamophobia.  It has become the subject of a heated and divisive debate in Parliament and now faces a competing Motion which removes the specific reference to Islamophobia.

    The threats and messages of hate received by Ms. Khalid, as well as the debate about Motion 103 and what it has unleashed, comes at a time when there is growing concern about discrimination and violence against Muslims globally, typified most recently by President Trump’s effort to impose a temporary travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.  Nationally, Muslims in Canada and Canadians more widely are still reeling from the horrifying targeted killings of six Muslim men at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City on January 29, 2017.

    Amnesty International urges Canadian Parliamentarians to unite in a clear effort to:

    • Reiterate unequivocal opposition to systemic racism and religious discrimination of all forms and against all communities.
    • Agree that at the present time there are very real, urgent and particular concerns about discrimination, bigotry, harassment and violence against Muslims in Canadians.
    • Commit to examining and adopting concrete action that can and should be taken now in Canada – by all levels of government, religious and community leaders, educators, the media and society more broadly – to counter the growing intolerance and attacks against Muslims across the country.
    • Continue to strengthen and pursue policies and measures to address systemic racism and religious discrimination in all its forms in Canada.
    • Make it unequivocally clear that all Parliamentarians reject and condemn the threats and messages of hate of the sort that have been sent to Iqra Khalid and will refrain from any statements or actions that encourage or tolerate such messages.

    Additionally, Amnesty International reiterates its support for the call that has been made for a provincial inquiry into systemic racism in the province of Quebec.

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    For media queries, please contact Jacob Kuehn: jkuehn@amnesty.ca // 613-744-7667 ext. 236.

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